One of the activities that I was looking forward to doing this summer with the boys was a sink or float experiment. Ever since I heard about the idea, I knew the boys would love it. I will admit that the educational value was not my priority. To me, it looked like a simple and fun activity with very little prep work and clean up. And it was!
For our experiment, I grabbed one of our pool toy buckets (the blue one in the photo below) and started combing through drawers, closets, shelves, etc. for things to drop into the water. I got some toys, kitchen utensils, tools, food, etc. Then, for our water bin, I just used a plastic tub I was using to store extra fabric. I liked this particular tub because it was tall and clear so there was plenty of room for things to sink (if they did) and we could see through the sides to watch.
The "procedure" for our experiment was 1) take turns picking an item, 2) everyone guess whether it will sink or float, 3) drop it in the water and observe what happens. They started off taking turns pretty well. Logan selected the football first...it floats.
Ethan picked the apple (a real one) first...it floats too! So far so good.
Crabby, the pool toy floats. You can get a glimpse of some of our objects below in the bucket and on the ground. We tossed the "used" items on the ground after they had already been tested.
Some splashed and then sunk...
Yes, I even grabbed a shoe.
The boys were surprised on a couple of items...like some wooden toys that seemed heavy. They thought they would sink, but of course, wood floats.
When we were done with all the objects, they asked if they could make a "soup" (their word) and toss them all in. I said sure. They held back some of the kitchen utensils to stir the "soup."
Now, for the full story. By the look of these photos, it would seem that everything went off without a hitch during our little experiment. But in this case, the photos do not tell the whole story. No. The sharing and taking turns got to them after a while and this fun activity devolved into anarchy. Complete chaos.
They both wanted to drop the same object, or Ethan would get mad because Logan dropped his item before we could guess if it would sink or float. Or somebody dropped two items in a row or said it sank when really it floated. It got ugly. The reason I do not have any photos of such bickering is because I was too busy playing referee.
That being said, I will definitely do this experiment again. I even think it would be fun to do it separately with each boy. They would enjoy it in different ways. Either way, we will do it again. And really, this time was not a total loss. They both had fun...in between the fighting!