My 2 and-a-half-year-old son is at a very inquisitive age and thinks just about anything and everything is “so cool!” The “what’s that” stage started around 18 months and hasn’t let up. He’s not only into anything with wheels but also wants to know how things work. It’s amazing to see at such a young age the true wonder in his eyes. Looking for something to do and capture his attention, I was inspired by his favorite YouTuber, Blippi, to do a very basic science experiment.
This science experiment, turned game for toddlers, called Does it Float or Sink can easily interest not only the young but also the young at heart. In Blippi’s video, he uses a giant fish tank filled with water, which unfortunately mommy couldn’t get her hands on (score one for Blippi already), to drop items into and see if they float or sink.
Hands-on activities like this Float or Sink Game for Toddlers can help stimulate a child’s senses and develop fine motor skills. Both are an important part of early childhood development. Sensory play can also help develop language skills, cognitive growth, problem-solving skills, and even social interactions among children of equal age.
This game can also be made into a tabletop version for indoor play. Just pick up a smaller plastic container from the dollar store and use smaller items from around the house to float or sink.
Related: Creative Kids Art Station
Float or Sink Game Materials Needed:
- 1 Big Clear Container- Target
- 1 Smaller Clear Container- Dollar Tree
- Items to Float or Sink
- Learning Resources Helping Hands Tool Set
Example Items to Float or Sink:
- Plastic toy ball, football
- Monster truck, Matchbox cars
- Plastic toy bear
- Toy slinky
- Kids sunglasses
- Silicon cupcake cup
- Shower loofa
- Juice box
- Bath squirter
- Silicon straw
- Toy Food
- Pipe Cleaner
Float or Sink Game for Toddlers Directions:
- Fill a large plastic bin with water (I used a large Rubbermaid storage bin) and set it outside in the grass. This way, when your child starts getting a little excited about the water it won’t be wasted if it spills out.
- Gather some items from around the house, preferably things that your child has an interest in seeing if they actually float or sink. We played this game outside with a large plastic bin so I used a small plastic ball (ball pit balls), a monster truck, a golf ball, a toy measuring cup, a plastic lemon, a shower loofa, sunglasses, a silicon cupcake cup, a bath squirter, cookies cutters, a button, a play dinosaur, a juice box, a small football, a pipe cleaner, and a sippy cup (lid off).
- Get your child involved and excited about this game by letting him toss the items in the tank. Ask him repeatedly if he thinks the items are going to float or sink and then let him toss the items in.
- Ask your child retrieve the items from the water and return them back to the original bucket. They’ll have fun doing it over and over again.
Related: Mini Construction Site Sandbox
If you’ve got older kids and you’re using a tabletop version of this Float or Sink Game for Toddlers, get out Helping Hands Tool Set. Help your child retrieve the items from the water and transfer them to the smaller bowl. This may seem like an easy task for mom and dad, but it’s no small feat for your tiny tot. Learning to use these tools will help your child develop the muscular control they’ll need to master finger and hand movements.
This part of the game is actually much tougher than you think. It was a little difficult for J to stay focused on grabbing the items. He much preferred to just play with water and pick the items out with his hands, which is why I would suggest it for kids at least 3 and up.
Have fun and stay dry!
What kind of sensory games is your toddler interested in? I’d love to get some ideas.
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Meagan is in her mid-thirties and has been married for almost 10 years. She is a proud boy mom, happily navigating her way through the toddler years. She met her husband 20 years ago in high school; they got married 10 years later after graduating from the University of South Florida. Meagan currently helps run a family business with her parents and sister, while blogging about her life and taking care of her three-year-old son full time (at work)!
When she isn’t chasing her son around and constantly picking up Matchbox cars, she enjoys spending time with her family on a beach anywhere. She also loves decorating and organizing her home, delving into fun DIY projects, bargain shopping, and eating at unique restaurants. She also loves Barbecue anything and a good show or movie on Netflix.