I am not sure if you have had the pleasure (and often displeasure) of being introduced to the Youtube sensation BLIPPI, but in our household this children's entertainer is a part of nearly every family activity. If we are not watching him, we're whistling his tunes, if we are not strutting around doing his dances, we're playing his games! My three-year-old son is a total BLIPPI addict! If you don't have a clue what I am on about, search Youtube for Blippi episodes and you'll understand.
While the "celebrities" videos are amateurish and often full of mistakes, the kids really love his engagement and I appreciate that the content leans towards being educational. One of my kid's favorite episodes, for instance, is "Sink or Float". I'll share the video with you below. For now however I want to boast about how my son and I did our own Sink or Float experiment today!
We're home for the school holidays and that means we need to keep busy and out of trouble, both my son and I! We've already checked most of the fun stuff off of our itineraries, but because today was sunny (albeit quite cold), I decided it was time for us to do our own Sink and Float activity, just like Blippi.
First we went around the house to gather small objects. While I let my son choose the toys he wanted, I made sure that he had a variety of things, some of which would surely sink and the others would float (so that he could compare them). We then filled two transparent jugs up with water. A large transparent container would be more ideal, but we don't have one of those. We then took the "game" outdoors.
One by one my son plopped each of his little toys into the water (which included a handful of "moon-rocks"). He delighted in the results! Each time something would sink he would screech "IT"S SINKING" and the same for when an object remained afloat.
While my son is a tad too little to understand the science behind why things either sink or float, this is still a great way to introduce the concept. For older kids you could go more in-depth and even ask them to write down their predictions and analysis.
THE SCIENCE BIT
Why does it sink or float?
The density of an object determines whether it will float or sink in another substance. An object will float if it is less dense than the liquid it is placed in. An object will sink if it is more dense than the liquid it is placed in. - http://www.middleschoolchemistry.com/lessonplans/chapter3/lesson4
This isn't the first time we have done this little experiment actually, we do it in the bath all the time, thanks to Blippi. It's the first time we really focused on they toys we were dropping into the water though and we paid attention to what felt heavy and what felt light.