This is a nice open ended experiment that looks at buoyancy, Archimedes principle, displacement and gravity through play!
Suitable for ages: 2 years and up
Time required: 30 mins
Difficulty: 2 out of 5
Related Programs: Vessels
Enjoying science play and simple experiments with young children is a fun and easy opportunity to foster their curiosity and problem solving skills.
You could keep this really simple by just using the plasticine and water to make a boat shape but if you’ve got the energy, letting them experiment with making something out of a range of materials is even more fun.
- Tray of water
- Rubber bands
- Foam or plastic party cups
- Tin foil
- Plastic food wrap
- Weights such as marbles or balls of plasticine
- Sticky tape
- Balloons blown up to about 10-15cm diameter
- Paper plates
How to Experiment:
- Challenge your young scientist to create a boat that floats out of whichever materials they like.
- Ask questions along the way to see what they observe.
- Which materials float easily? Which ones sink?
- Which materials are easily made into the shape of a boat or raft?
- Try adding some weights to your boat. How much weight can it hold before it sinks?
- What happens to the height of the water in our tray when we put the boats/ materials in? Use a marker to show how the water goes up.
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