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Friday, 9 March 2012

Friday thoughts - That sinking feeling

Water is fascinating...

There is so much people do with water - swim, drink, bathe, wash, freeze, boil, mix...the list goes on. Without water, life simply does not exist as every living thing relies on this precious resource.

I have spent part of this week playing with water. The children that I work with (and myself) have been discovering what items can float and what can sink. The children made predictions whether items would float or sink and then tested them out. They had so much fun performing this simple experiment! We then used this knowledge to work out why a heavy, metal boat can float. Out came the toy boats and we analysed the shape. We then became boat builders and constructed boats for ourselves out of aluminium foil. What was really exciting was the way that the children brought in their own aluminium foil boats that they built at home because they were so motivated by the notion of floating, sinking and boat building.

Floating and sinking experiments can easily be performed at home to help children discover this scientific concept and the properties of items. A bath or large plastic container filled with water can be the 'sea'. Household items can be used as testing items. These could include a ball, marble, pebble, cotton wool, feather, sponge, cork, apple...to name a few. Look at bath toys that float, especially toy boats and think about what makes them float. Aluminium foil is a great product to use to make little boats as it is easy for little hands to crunch, shape and fold into a 'boat' like shape. A test could be performed to see how much a foil boat can hold by placing marbles in the boat one at a time until it sinks.

Learning can occur through play and can be fun!

Have a wonderful weekend!

(P.S - Adult supervision is a MUST when children are playing with water!)

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