Sunday, February 26, 2012

Float or Sink

Wesley loves playing "Float or Sink". It's an easy activity.

  1. Get a bowl (I used a large mixing bowl) and fill it with comfortably warm water.
  2. Find random objects around the house that can be dropped in water. Put them in a bowl.
  3. Write "float" on one piece of paper and "sink" on another.
  4. Child drops objects in the water to see if they float or sink.
  5. You can try guessing beforehand, you can take the object out and have s/he put it on the correct word, etc.
  6. Child cleans up drips and spills with a rag or sponge.
  7. Go find more objects around the house to "test", if you are comfortable with that.
    1. Wesley mostly suggested trying more acorns, more buckeyes, and more rocks, but I could imagine some kids suggesting an iPod or something...
We did the activity a couple of times and kept the bowl on the counter for a few days. Wes would ask to play "Float. Sink". He was even willing to play the activity by himself while I did dishes (lately, virtually no activity garners such solo play). 

Wesley (19 months) has an interesting comprehension of the float/sink phenomenon. When he drops the objects in, he is inconsistent at guessing whether they float or sink. I think he is more than 50% accurate, but certainly doesn't entirely "get it". 

However, when the activity is done, and I ask him if he remembers anything that floats, he says "leaf. buckeye. acorn". All correct. When I ask if the money, rocks, and Buddha statue float or sink, he says "sink" for each. But, he generally can't suggest items that sink. A couple days after playing the game, he had forgotten the items that sink, and would say "Float! Sink!" when asked if the money floated.

We enjoyed the activity. Wes was focused. He loves water. He loved the guessing game. He loved seeing his familiar objects in water.

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This activity came from the lovely book Help your Preschooler Build a Better Brain by John Bowman. It is full of Montessori activities that are inexpensive/free and easy to do at home. E-books available and their Montessori at Home site has a lot of info, too.

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