Dragon Boat Regatta Inspired Sink or Float Experiment

Today I’m welcoming Erin of Bambini Travel to share with us her Dragon Boat Regatta Inspired Sink or Float Experiment

Dragon Boat Regatta Inspired Sink or Float Experiment

Our activities and learning are often inspired by things we see in the world. We found a hermit crab at the beach and learned about hermit crabs. We recently went to the Dragon Boat Regatta in the Jackson, Mississippi area and our twins were fascinated. They watched the boats raced and noticed the numbers on the boats.


numbers on boatsThey cheered for their favorites and watched for the silliest costumes. Then my daughter asked me a question;

Why don’t the boats sink to the bottom?

regatta boatsI asked her what she thought, but she wasn’t really sure so we decided to do an easy experiment at home to think about it a little more.

To do the experiment you will need: paper, pencil/marker, water filled sensory table or bucket, and various objects. (Make sure beforehand that some will sink and some will float!)

First, we talked about sinking and floating. What kinds of things sink? What kinds of things float? What happens to you when you’re in the water? What happened to the dragon boats on the water?

Then we went outside to our sensory table where I had our materials set up. We read the simple chart labeled Sink and Float and then looked at the objects.

simple sink or float chart science experiment for kids

Step One: list the object on your chart.

Step Two: drop the object gently in the water and observe to see what it does.

Step Three: mark your findings on the chart.

observing objects to see which sink or floatWhen they were done with all the objects they wanted to try more things so they started testing other items in the backyard – grass, a flower petal, a piece of chalk, etc. Later that day during snack time, we talked about our findings. Right now our fours have some theories; flat things float. Heavy things, like rocks, sink because they can’t hold themselves up. Heavy things need floats if they are going to float.

experimenting with sinking and floating using rocksSome more experimenting and observing will be needed to explore their ideas further.

Erin Buhr is a freelance writer, early childhood educator and mama to twin four year olds. She shares family travel adventures, children’s book reviews, and play ideas on Bambini Travel

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