Water and Buoyancy

This month we are exploring the concept of buoyancy—the ability of an object to float. Water play is a great opportunity for your child to experiment with this scientific principle. Also, provide a variety of heavy and light objects your child can use to experiment with buoyancy. Ask your child what all the floating objects have in common that is different from the sinking objects. Your child will love this fun, hands-on experience!

Age-appropriate Adaptations:

  • Two-year-olds—Give your child several containers of various shapes and sizes to play with in the bath or sink. Plastic measuring cups, spoons, and Tupperware containers work well for this sensory activity. Point out to your child how some objects float and others sink to the bottom of the container.
  • Three-year-olds—Add a variety of heavy and light objects for your child to use in your experiment with buoyancy. Ask your child what all the floating objects have in common that is different from the sinking objects.
  • Four-/Five-year-olds—Encourage your child to predict if an object will sink or float before placing it in the water. Then help him create a pictorial chart or graph that records which objects sank and which floated.

Skills Supported: scientific experimentation, buoyancy, weight, making predictions, graphing