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Source: Science for Kids


Float and Sink

What you need:

  • Tub of water
  • Small items that will float
  • Small items that will sink
  • Towels

Fill tubs with water. Gather float and sink items, and sort them into bowls or containers.

Instructions:

Give each pair of children a tub of water. Give your child an object, and ask them to predict whether the object will sink or float. Ask them to place the object in the water to see what happens. Have children test each of the items, making a prediction first, and then testing them.

Examples of things that sink: Pebble, Penny, Marble, Action Figures, etc.

Examples of things that float: Bottle Cap, Father, Small piece of paper, etc.


Mixing Oil and Water

What you need:

  • Soda bottle
  • Water
  • Food coloring
  • 2 tablespoons of cooking oil

Instructions:

  1. Add a few drops of food coloring to the water.
  2. Pour about 2 tablespoons of the colored water along with the 2 tablespoons of cooking oil into bottle.
  3. Screw the lid on tight and shake the bottle as hard as you can.
  4. Put the bottle back down. Watch the mixture separate.

What’s happening?

Water molecules are strongly attracted to each other, same for oil, and because they are more attracted to their own molecules they don’t mix together. They separate and the oil floats above the water because it has a lower density.


Make a Parachute to Learn about Air Resistance

What you need:

  • A plastic bag
  • Scissors
  • String
  • A small object to act as the weight, such as a little action figure

Instructions:

  1. Cut out a large square from your plastic bag.
  2. Trim the edges so it looks like an octagon (an eight sided shape).
  3. Cut a small whole near the edge of each side.
  4. Attach 8 pieces of string of the same length to each of the holes.
  5. Tie the pieces of string to the object you are using as a weight.
  6. Use a chair or find a high spot to drop your parachute and test how well it works.

What’s happening?

Hopefully your object slowly descended to the ground. When you dropped the parachute, the weight pulls down on the strings and opens up a large surface area of material that uses air resistance to slow it down. The larger the surface area the more air resistance and the slower the parachute will drop.

For more fun and interesting science activities and games for the whole family, visit www.sciencekids.co.nz.