Daffy Density

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In this chemistry activity, learners explore density by using four solids and 6 liquids to create colorful, layered rows. This activity can be done as a demonstration or lab, with learners trying to identify the densities of certain materials. This activity guide also includes suggestions for other solids to test in the density column.

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
Under 5 minutes

Learning Time:
5 to 10 minutes

Estimated Materials Cost:
$1 - $5 per group of students

Age Range:
Ages 6 - 18

Resource Types:
Activity, Demonstration, Experiment/Lab Activity


Materials List (per group of students)

  • graduated cylinder or large vase (cylindrical) or large test tube
  • ethanol or rubbing alcohol (green)
  • Dawn™ dishwashing detergent or liquid dishwashing detergent
  • dark corn syrup
  • vegetable oil
  • glycerine
  • water
  • food coloring (red and green)
  • cork stopper or fishing cork bobber
  • solid rubber stopper or rubber Superball or jacks ball
  • 1 small block of oak wood
  • 1 small piece of lead or a lead sinker


  • Physical Sciences
    • Chemistry
    • States of Matter
      • Solids
      • Liquids
    • Structure and Properties of Matter
      • Volume and Density
  • The Nature of Science
    • The Scientific Process
      • Conducting Investigations


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see
  • see color

Learning styles supported:

  • Involves hands-on or lab activities


This resource is part of:

Access Rights:

  • Free access with registration