Science is a very important (and popular) part of a child’s life. As a child learns about the world around him, making sense of it, using their senses to discover and investigate… this is all science!
Sometimes, I get to visit preschool classes and conduct experiments. Recently, we did a sink/float experiment. While this sounds pretty simple, it is fascinating to the children… and fun too!
What types of things sink and what types of things float? The rubber band ball sinks but one rubber band floats! The bouncy ball sinks but our splash ball floated! We also tried cans of pop. What will full cans of pop do in water? Will Mountain Dew do the same thing as Diet Coke? What about Diet Sunkist and Dr. Pepper?
Not only did the children learn about cause and effect (dropping a can into the water makes a big splash), they also noticed that some of the cans sink in water and some float! From there, we looked to see which cans sink and which float. “The diet cans float!” With a little help from me, we could conclude that the sugar in the other cans caused them to sink. While the children loved doing this with the pop, they love investigating with any types of items: paper, cork, foil, metal utensils and plastic utensils.
Science is all around us! Recent brain research has found that a child’s brain develops much more effectively when their environment is rich in experience! You can do your own experiments at home: sink/float in the bathtub or in the sink. Let the children choose what items to place in the water and predict whether they sink or float.
Or, you can check out these great ideas for more science experiments to do with your children.