F is for Float! Our letter of the week activity includes a preschool science lesson on density and buoyancy. With all her whys, whys and more whys, I decided to let Hannah try for herself why some things sink and some float.
We carried out this experiment after reading, “What Floats?: Floating and Sinking” by Jim Pipe:
1. Sink or Float Experiment
Gather your materials:
Fruits e.g. apple and orange
Make a prediction:
Before putting the item into the water, Hannah had to guess if the item would sink or float.
Test your prediction:
Hannah places the item into the water to find out the result. When she felt the apple and orange, she thought they would sink given that they were heavy. But both fruits floated!
Finally, we classified the items under “sink” or “float”.
2. Peeled vs Unpeeled Orange Experiment
Another experiment that we read in “What Floats?: Floating and Sinking” was of the orange and its orange peel. We decided to test this out too. The first time we placed a whole orange in the water, we recorded that it floats on the water surface. Next, we peeled the orange skin and placed it into the water again. This time, the orange sank.
Why is this so?
As explained in the book, the orange peel has tiny air pockets which help give the orange a lower density than water, making it float to the surface. Removing the peel meant that we have removed all the air pockets therefore, increasing its density than that of water, making the orange sink.
3. Building a Sail Boat
To finish off, we did a craft which we’ve done last year – building a sailing boat using a jar lid, dough, straw and paper.
Oh, and have fun splashing the water around after that! 🙂