There are many ways to teach the notion of what sinks and what floats to a toddler, but I loved that this one could be done right before bath time without any special materials needed.
I lined up a variety of objects on the side of Veronika’s bath, some I knew would sink (toy cars, a spoon) and others I knew would float (her rubber ducky, toy boats).
It was up to her to toss them all in from the line-up and see how they landed in the water.
Some, like a plastic apple or the rubber duck gave a splash and and a bounce before bobbing along on the surface. Others made a big plunk (the car!) and sank to the bottom. We stopped to talk about each of these different ways that the objects had made the water move.
It was the first time I saw a spark in Veronika’s eyes as I repeated the words “sink” and “float” deliberately.
By the time she was sitting in the tub and playing with all the items, she was using the words in full sentences. “The spoon sinks! The boat floats!” A great first lesson on this everyday scientific concept.