Float or Sink? | CMSMatHome

Float or Sink? CMSM at Home activity from the Children's Museum of Southern Minnesota

Float or Sink?

Today we’ll test boats made from found materials to see which ones will float, and which ones will not.

  • Let’s play with water. Choose a bath tub, sink, or any container that won’t leak.
  • Now, let’s build a vessel that holds more than 5 pennies.
  • What can we build with? Paper, popsicle sticks, aluminum foil, wax paper, bottle caps and lids, recycled yogurt cups, rubber bands, bamboo skewers and toothpicks…
  • What do you see? Which materials float on their own? Can you add pennies to your boat? How many can it hold?

Further Your Experiment

  • Talk about what happens before the boat sinks. Where does the water start coming into your vessel?
  • What can you change to make it float better? Is it the material, the boat’s shape, or size?
  • Which one of your boats can carry the most weight?
  • Which one can travel the farthest distance?
  • What material floats the best?
  • Can you get the boat to move without touching it with your hands? How?
  • How many pennies can your boat hold, and still float?

Share This Post

More To Explore

Sandbox in the Dotson Back 40 at the Children's Museum of Southern Minnesota in Mankato

Warm Weather Sensory Activities

Sensory play is beneficial to children all year, and in the cold months of winter, making messes indoors feels worth it on some of the longer days. But summer provides the perfect opportunity to engage in sensory play with children, because you can take the messes outside! Sensory play not only captivates their imagination but

Read More »
Kitchen Science with Kids

Summer Cooking with Kids!

At the Children’s Museum of Southern Minnesota, we have three kitchens: the mud kitchen, the Cabin kitchen, and the play kitchen in the farm-to-table Grow It Gallery. These exhibits are always popular, because children love this kind of pretend play. Play kitchens are a particularly popular resource for pretend play, as it benefits children and

Read More »