When you’re toddler gets older, there will be no shortage of flotation experiments to try for early lessons on density. But for younger toddlers, you can simply introduce the concept of flotation with this simple game of observation. Some things go ker-plunk to the bottom of the water and some things float, and for now that’s all that matters!
I set out a shallow tray of water with a towel underneath for easy clean-up, and then pulled out a variety of objects.
Of course Veronika was immediately interested in everything in the pile, including a spoon, a clothespin, a plastic animal toy, a piece of sponge, a key, a wooden block, a comb, shredded paper, and more.
One by one, we dropped the items in the water.
“Will it sink or float?” I asked for each one. “It sinks!” I would say happily. Or, conversely, “It floats!” She parroted both these statements back to me, even though it was brand new vocab. But this is precisely how kids learn!
Then it was time just to let her explore the objects in the water. She loved squeezing the sponge pieces.
And crumpling the paper between her fingers until it disintegrated into our water.
The clothespin was fun to scoot around like a little boat.
And when she was done, I dumped the water in the sink and wiped the floor dry, and the game was complete!