15+ Floating and Sinking Activities for Preschoolers (Printables + Reels)

Floating and sinking activities are science experiments and activities that help to teach children about the concepts of buoyancy and density.

These activities can involve predicting and testing whether different objects will float or sink in various liquids, experimenting with materials to build floating structures, and exploring the properties of fluids that affect floating and sinking.

Moreover, engaging preschoolers in hands-on experiences such as bathtub activities where they can observe which toys float and which ones sink or incorporating sensory bins filled with water and various objects for exploration can further enhance their understanding of these scientific principles.

Floating and Sinking Activities for Preschoolers.

Floating And Sinking Activity (3-5 Years)

Floating And Sinking Activity

This “Floating and Sinking Activity” is a fun and educational experiment for kids to learn about buoyancy and density.

Materials: A tub of water, various small objects of different materials, and weights such as plastic toys, fruits, stones, etc. Optionally, paper and pencil can be used to record predictions and results.

How to Do:

  1. Fill a container with water.
  2. Have the child place each object into the water to see if it sinks or floats.
  3. Encourage the child to guess the outcome before they drop the item in.
  4. You can watch the reel for a better understanding of what my kids have performed

Circle The Object Floating And Sinking Activities (3-5 years)

Floating And Sinking Activities (Circle The Object)

The Floating and Sinking Activity is an educational experiment that teaches children about buoyancy and density in a hands-on way.

Materials: A worksheet with images of different objects or use our printable, a pen or pencil to circle predictions, a clear container filled with water, and actual objects similar to those on the worksheet for a real-world test.

How to Do:

  1. Review the worksheet and discuss with the child what it means to sink or float.
  2. Before testing the actual objects, have the child circle which ones they think will float and which will sink.
  3. Fill a clear container with water and have the actual objects ready for testing.
  4. One by one, place the objects in the water to see the outcome.
  5. Compare the results with the child’s predictions on the worksheet and discuss why some objects float and others sink.

Playing in the water Activity (3-5 years)

Playing in the water 💦 can be a great way to encourage physical activity and promote lessons of floating and sinking in preschoolers. Kids play with numerous objects in the water, thus giving them visual wisdom of what is floating and what is sinking.

Examples of water activities that are suitable for preschoolers:
Water play: Provide preschoolers with water toys such as cups, funnels, and measuring cups to encourage them to explore and experiment with the properties of water 💦.

Bubbles: Blow bubbles in the water and let preschoolers try to catch them. This activity can be a great way to improve their hand-eye coordination and fine motor skills 💡.

Sensory play: Fill a kiddie pool or basin with water, add items such as beans, pasta, or rice, and let children explore the different textures and sounds

Cut & Paste Floating And Sinking Activities (4-6 Years)

Floating And Sinking Activities (Cut & Paste)

Floating and Sinking Activities for Preschoolers are hands-on experiments to help young kids learn about buoyancy.

In these activities, children test different objects to see if they float or sink in water. Using cut-and-paste worksheets, they can sort items based on what they observe.

Materials: A printed worksheet divided into “Sinks” and “Floats” categories that print out our printable, images of various objects to cut out, scissors, and glue.

How to Do:

  1. Show the child how to safely use scissors to cut out the pictures of objects from our printable.
  2. Help them sort the pictures into what they think will sink or float.
  3. Apply glue to the back of the cut-out pictures.
  4. Paste each picture in the correct section on the worksheet.
  5. Discuss why they think each object sinks or floats, and if possible, test the objects in real water to see the results.

Sink or Float game activity (3-6 Years)

Sink or Float game

The sink or float game is a simple and fun way for preschoolers 🧒🏻 to learn more about the concept of density and how it relates to objects. Here is one way to conduct the experiment or game

  • Collect objects that will sink or float, such as a plastic toy boat, a rubber duck, a penny, a piece of wood 🟫, a piece of aluminum foil, etc. You will also need a large water container, such as a plastic tub or a sink.
  • Explain to the preschoolers that you will conduct an experiment to see which objects will sink and which will float when placed in water.
  • Place the objects one at a time in the container of water 💦. Ask the preschoolers to predict whether they think each object will sink or float before they place it in the water. Observe as they place each object in the water, and discuss why some objects float and others sink.
  •  After the experiment, discuss the results with the preschoolers. Ask them why they think some objects float and others sink. Please encourage them to explain their reasoning and help them understand that an object’s density determines whether it sinks or floats.
  • Repeat and try different liquids: You can repeat the experiment with other liquids, such as syrup or oil, to see how the objects behave in different densities and liquids 🥃.

Experience the magic of learning with our downloadable Sink or Float worksheets focused on floating and sinking activities!

Perfect for preschoolers, these activities explore why objects float or sink through fun experiments and hands-on learning. Don’t miss these fantastic tools to ignite curiosity in your young scientists!

Boat activity (3-5 Years)

Introduce preschoolers to the fun world of boat activities. Let them explore different materials to build boats, experimenting with shapes and sizes to learn about buoyancy.

Encourage them to guess which objects will float or sink, promoting critical thinking and scientific exploration. Teach basic ideas about density and displacement in a simple, hands-on way, as they watch their boats move across the water.

This playful approach helps children develop basic STEM skills and nurtures a love for discovery and creativity, all while imagining they’re on a sea adventure.

The game of shapes Activity (4-6 Years)

The Game Of Shapes

You will need a container of water, such as a plastic tub or a large bowl, and various materials for the preschoolers to make their shapes from, such as play dough, clay, or modeling clay.

Then, give each child a piece of play dough, clay, or modeling clay ⚱️ and have them create different shapes, such as a sphere, a cube, a cylinder, and a pyramid.

Once the preschoolers have finished creating their shapes, have them place them in the water container and observe whether they float or sink.

Fun Science Activities related to floating and sinking

Water displacement Activity (4-6 Years)

Fill a container with water and provide small objects such as marbles or beads.

Ask the preschoolers to place the objects in the water one at a time and observe how the water level changes.

Explain that the water level rises because the object is displacing the water.

Floating and sinking race Activity (3-5 Years)

Provide the preschoolers with materials such as plastic cups 🥤, paper boats, and corks.

Ask the preschoolers to race the materials in a sink or a tub of water and observe which materials float and which sink.

Water density Activity (4-6 Years)

Water Density

Provide the preschoolers with various liquids such as oil, corn syrup, and water. Ask them to predict which liquids will float on top of the others and then perform the activity.

Once it’s done, discuss the concept of density and how it affects whether an object floats or sinks.

Density experiment Activity (4-6 Years)

Fill clear containers with different liquids (such as water, oil, and syrup) and have students predict which objects will sink or float in each fluid.

They can then test their predictions by adding various objects (such as a coin, a cork, and a marble) to the containers.

Buoyancy challenge Activity (4-8 Years)

Give students materials such as clay, straws, and paper and have them design and build a boat that will float and hold a certain weight.

Object scavenger hunt (4-8 Years)

Make a list of common objects, some that float and some that sink. Hide these objects in a playground or classroom.

Give kids clues to find them. Once they’ve found everything, set up a water station to test which objects float and which ones sink. It’s a fun way to spark curiosity and learn basic science!

Benefits of floating and sinking activities

Floating and sinking activities can help children develop a variety of skills, including:

Scientific thinking and problem-solving

Scientific Thinking and Problem-Solving

Children 👶 learn about the properties of materials and how they interact with water. They can experiment with different objects to see which floats and which ones sink and explore why this is the case.

Fine motor skills

Fine motor skills

Children use their hands to manipulate objects and perform various tasks such as pouring water, stirring, and scooping.

So whenever children are invested in performing those activities, their motor skills tend to respond and work in accordance with their brains. 

Social-emotional development

Social-Emotional Development

Socio-emotional development refers to children’s emotional, social, and personal skills 💡 as they grow.

It encompasses a wide range of abilities, including self-awareness, self-regulation, empathy, and the ability to form positive relationships.

Children learn to take turns sharing materials and develop patience and persistence as they experiment and make observations.

Language development

Language development

Language development is how children learn to understand and use language. It is a complex and ongoing process that begins in infancy and continues throughout childhood and adolescence 👦🏻.

During these activities, children will be able to learn new words related to floating and sinking. They also have opportunities to talk about their observations and predictions.

Sensory development

Sensory development

Sensory development refers to the method through which children learn to use and interpret the information that comes through their senses, including sight, sound 🔊, touch, taste, and smell

Children experience different textures, temperatures, and sensations as they handle objects and play in the water. The memory of various senses stays well bonded and allows the child to develop the feeling of feeling things.

Language learning

Language Learning

Language is closely linked to cognitive development, and as children acquire language, they also develop necessary cognitive skills 💡 such as problem-solving and critical thinking.

While performing activities, children learn new and newer words related to floating and sinking activities. Children can later use these words to explain their observations and forecasts.

Creative thinking

Creative Thinking

Creative thinking is the ability to think outside the box, develop new and unique ideas, and approach problems and challenges in innovative ways.

It is an essential skill for children as it helps them become more adaptable and resilient in an ever-changing world 🌍.

Overall, floating and sinking activities are a fun and engaging way for children to learn and explore different concepts in science, math 🔢, and other subjects, while also developing essential skills such as critical thinking and problem-solving.

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Floating and Sinking Activities
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