Polar Sink or Float

"Sink or Float" is one of those activities that can easily be modified for any theme. Just grab a few different themed items and you've got yourself an easy science exploration water sensory setup. I always try to include at least one item that can act as a "boat" because who doesn't like to play sink the boat. In this case, the cardstock snowflake is our floating glacier (i.e. boat item). The snowflakes are a little different than our typical boat item in that they can't hold much weight. It still peaked the kids curiosity to learn that they could place feathers on the snowflakes without causing them to sink. They also discovered that if they stacked multiple snowflakes, it became stronger.

Supplies & Instructions


Acrylic ice cubes


Pom poms

Cardstock snowflakes

Bin with water

There's no real prep for this one, except setting out the supplies and posing the task of hypothesizing and testing which items will sink and which will float.

TIP: if you are doing this activity inside, lay a towel under the water area to minimize spills from spreading.

Preschool Prompts

For each item, predict if it will sink or float? How does what actually happened differ from your prediction (hypothesis)? How much weight can the snowflake hold? How can we test this? Do you think there is a way to make the snowflake hold more weight? What happens to the feathers when they get wet? Are the snowflakes easier to rip before they get wet or after they get wet?

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