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​Sink or Float?

Using an ice cube tray, egg crate, or small bowls, gather various items from around the house and hypothesize whether or not the tiny objects will sink or float in water.

The activity can be adapted to older children by adding a research layer to it. What are the objects made up of? Why does it sink or float?


ice cube tray, egg crate or a number of small bowls
small items
deep, clear container
pencil, pen, marker, crayon (something to write with!)


Fill a deep, clear container with water.

Gather as many unique, small objects from around your house as fit in your container.

On a piece of paper, hypothesize or make guesses as to what each object will do. Will it sink? Will it float? Will it expand in the water? Will it dye the water?

Experiment! What is each object doing in the water?

Were your guesses right? If not, can you guess why?









The ice cube tray above contains: oatmeal, almonds, peppercorns, corn kernels, barley, chia seeds, Cheerios, plastic buttons, cloves, M&Ms, rotini wheat pasta, wild rice, hemp seeds, red lentils, raisins and sunflower seeds.

This activity will work with almost any small objects you have lying around the house. Other ideas include: safety pins, cereal, granola, pomegrante seeds, dice, sprinkles, Tic Tacs, paperclips and chocolate chips.

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