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Sink or Float Toddler Activity

Hands-on activities are always a hit! Kids are very inquisitive and natural explorers so it is important we let them take ownership of their learning.

I do not have much time to create fancy and elaborate activities as I’m always busy running around chasing my 3 and 1 year old!

That being said, sometimes the simplest things keep them entertained the most, such as this sink or float activity. 

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  • If you plan on creating a lot of your own learning resources I highly suggest investing in a laminating machine like this. That way your materials last a lot longer and you can use them over and over again. I’ve had my machine since my classroom days, and it is still going strong!
  • Miscellaneous items that sink or float. You can literally use anything you have around your house. (We used a crayon, spoon, magnet, rubber band, key, marble, leaf, eraser, etc)
  • plastic bin that you will fill with water. You can use any that you already have or you can order this clear plastic bin with lid 
  • If you don’t want to gather all the individual materials, you can also order this kit that is ready to go 
  • Any sheet of paper where you can write down a t-chart labeled Sink & Float or you can download the pdf I created below sink


Please don’t forget that anytime you have water around kids, you must supervise them at all times. Yes, even if it is a small bin like the one we used. 

  1. Set up your activity area wherever you are most comfortable. This can be an activity you do outdoors or indoors. 
  2. Explain to your little ones the purpose of the activity and the difference between sinking and floating.
  3. Let them manipulate and explore the materials before starting the activity that way they get familiar with everything.
  4. Once they have had a chance to look through the materials, repeat the instructions if necessary.
  5. Let them explore and test out each item at their own pace and most of all, encourage them to have fun!


Keep in mind, they are exploring and even though they are familiar with water and the objects they are testing, this is still new learning for them.

Let them have fun and facilitate a discussion as they are testing each item. 



Once they finish testing the objects, they can re do the activity or you can wrap up with a reflection.

Looking back at all the objects, talk about which ones floated and which ones sank. Why do they think it happened that way? What new items would they like to test? etc. 

Notice how the laminated recording sheet came in very handy as we will be able to reuse it over and over again.

Final Thoughts

If you decide to give this a try with your little ones make sure to come back and let me know how it went!

Also, if you have other fun easy activities you like to do with your kids, please feel free to share them with use!

Talk soon!

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