Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Exploring Density (Sink or Float)

For our letter D science activity I followed the lead of this post and we did an exploration of Density. This was super easy to set up, and kept both kids entertained for a long time. 

Let's gather our supplies:
A selection of toys and other objects, some that will sink and some that will float
A large container to fill with water
A piece of paper that says "sink" and on that says "float"

 We took this activity outside because I wanted to be able to turn the kids loose to have fun without any worries about messes. We could have also done this in the bathtub and it would have worked great. 
The first thing we did was talk about what it means to sink or float. Then we took all the toys out of our bin while hypothesizing on how each one would behave in the water.
 Erik was thrilled to turn on the hose and fill up our tub. Sharli wasn't too sure what was going on yet, but we were outside so it must mean something good!
 Then we tested each item and placed it on the paper that described what it had done. Sharli just splashed around and had fun.
 After we'd tested all our objects, I just turned the kids loose with the water and sat back and watched. Water free-play is one of our favorite activities. Almost no prep, and SO much fun!
 There is so much to be learned from just exploring with water. Fine motor skills such as scooping and pouring, spatial awareness when deciding if water from one container will fit in another, hand-eye coordination, sensory awareness, social skills like cooperation (when you've got more than one child involved), language development as you discuss things like cold or wet.
 Since this day, Erik asks often if we can play with density again (he actually uses the word density, it really stuck with him). He also loves to test all his bath toys to see if they'll sink or float. This was a hit in a major way!

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