Little Learners: Science

Little Learners is a club for 3-5 year olds and their caregivers. We explore music, art, and science hands-on, and with books and stories.

Today's topic was Sink or Float? I got ideas from Wonderworks & Fantastic Fun and Learning

We read: Who Sank the Boat? by Pamela Allen & Floating or Sinking by Charlotte Guillain.

Station 1: Sink vs. Float
  • various items that sink or float
  • 2 trays, labeled sink and float
  • large container for water 
  • water
Explain that a guess in science is called a hypothesis. Make hypotheses about whether something will float or sink, by separating the items onto the trays. Then test your hypotheses by placing each item in the water and see if it stays on the top (floats), or goes to the bottom (sinks).

Station 2: What Can Be a Boat?
  • large container for water
  • water
  • various things that could be a boat (wax paper, aluminum foil, paper cups, etc)
  • something to represent people (I used lego characters I had on hand)
Test what could be a boat by seeing a) if it floats, and b) if it will float with passengers on board. I had a berry basket (one of those plastic ones that I remember making May Baskets with) and it was neat to see one girl wrap the piece of foil around the basket so that it wouldn't sink. Scientific inquiry in action!

Station 3: Build a Boat
  • sponges
  • wooden skewers
  • foam sheets (cut into triangles)
  • foam stickers to decorate (optional)
  • large container
  • water
Cut triangles out of foam and add two slits along the edge. Skewer the sail and stick into the sponge. I set out foam stickers for them to decorate their boats if they wished. 

This program cost me $15 + tax at the dollar store. I purchased sponges (2/$1), 4 foil roasting trays, 1 pack of foam rectangles, and foil trays (2/$1). All the other supplies I already had.



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