Small plastic fish tanks
round glass fish bowl, golf ball, polystyrene ball all identical sizes.
Feel weight of each ball.
Drop each ball individually into tank.
Which ball is heaviest, lightest?
Which ball sinks, floats?
Two plastic guttering pipes,
balls of different materials, preferably the same size e.g. plastic, hollow,
solid.. wood, wool, rubber, polystyrene.
Place the two pieces of guttering
into the water trough at different angles so that each slope of the pipe
Let each ball roll down
the pipe first down the highest incline, then down the lowest.
Weight - heavy light balls.
Which ball goes the fastest - slowest?
Which ball makes the biggest
splash? Does it sink?
Which makes the smallest
splash? Does it float? If the guttering pipe is higher, does
the ball go quicker?
Plastic boats of different
sizes (Arnolds & Tupperware)
Put boats into water.
Put marbles onto the boats until they sink. Launch the boats down
the guttering as in the previous activity.
How many marbles to sink
the boats? What happens to the marbles? Does the largest boat
need more marbles to sink it?
Which boat makes the biggest
Natural materials that sink
and float. Chalk, clay in different shapes, pumice stone, sponge,
shell, coral, pine cones, acorns, leaves, sand, leather, fur wood.
3 plastic washing up bowls in red, blue, green.
Place objects one at a time
in water. Watch how each object behaves in water.
If it sinks put in red bowl.
If it floats put in blue
If it floats and sinks or
not sure put in green bowl.
Do they sink or float or
do they absorb water? Do they float first then take in water and
sink? How do they feel when they are in the water? Do they
look different? Do they smell differently?
When they sink, do they
take a long time?
Objects that float - balloon,
acorn, cord, cork, cotton reel, egg shells, ice, metal basin, plastic
cup, plastic soap dish, hollow rubber ball, squeezy bottles, writing paper.
All in blue bowl. In red bowl have soap, nails, tiny stones, paper
clips, clay, chain, key, pencil.
Place objects in blue bowl
into water. All will float. Have bowl of objects that sink
at one side in red bowl.
Do all these things float?
What can we put with them to make them sink? Acorn-clay; cotton
reel - lead pencil; soap dish - soap; cork - nails into it;
egg shells - small stones; balloon - put water in it; cord
- add key; metal basin - gradually pour water into it; writing
paper - paper clips.
Objects that sink in red
bowl - metal washers, magnets, scissors, stone, metal spoon, metal weight,
badge, coin, key,
screws, nails different
lengths. (This can be done in a plastic fish tank which smaller children
can see more easily).
Feel all the different objects
Place them in the water - watch how they sink.
What are most of the sinking
objects made of? Do they sink quickly to the bottom of the tank?
Do they sink? Is anything else happening?
Magnets can be added as an
activity especially with the metal objects sinking. Weebles can be
put into the fish tank and a swimming pool set up with the slides.
If some of the weebles have a hole in them they become full of water and
sink-the others float to the top.