Sink or Float

Source Institutions

Source Institutions

Add to list Go to activity
Activity link broken? See if it's at the internet archive
In this activity, learners explore and compare the buoyant properties of materials found in nature and in human-made materials. Experiment and make predictions and observations about which materials will float, sink, or hover. Activity includes step-by-step instructions with photo visuals.

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
5 to 10 minutes

Learning Time:

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

Age Range:
Ages 4 - adult

Resource Type:


Materials List (per group of students)

  • Large bowl or bucket filled about ¾ of the way with water
  • Natural materials such as leaves, grass, flowers, dirt, or rocks
  • Man-made materials that can safely be in water such as LEGO bricks, balls, or toy figures
  • Optional: a towel or two for catching any spills & a scale to compare weight of objects


  • Physical Sciences
    • Motion and Forces

Informal Categories

  • Games
  • Outdoor Activity


Components that are part of this resource:

This resource is part of:

Access Rights:

  • Free access


Source Collection

  • Discovery At Home


  • All rights reserved, Discovery Museum, 2020