Eureka! Science fun with water - for littlies!

Glass jar with water
Early years 3-5 years

Little kids naturally want to find out about the world around them – and with each new discovery comes more fascination and curiosity. Simple science activities can fuel their curiosity and help them develop early science knowledge and skills. Try this easy activity to help your little one learn about water displacement – and have some fun with water!

Ever heard about the story of Archimedes discovering the principle of water displacement when he was in the bathtub? He figured out the weight of a golden crown by measuring the amount of water the crown forced out of a tub, or displaced. Try this water displacement activity for a bucket of fun with your little one!

What you will need:

  • A clear, plastic container or jar
  • A pile of stones and rocks
  • A plastic toy (like a small dinosaur or toy animal)
  • A permanent marker

What to do:

  • Half fill the plastic container with water and mark the level of water on the container using the permanent marker (so you can see how far the water level rises).
  • Hook the plastic toy on the top of the container.
  • Show your little one the water level mark and tell them that the toy is thirsty and it wants to take a drink of water from the container, but it can’t reach!
  • Ask your child what they think will happen if they put some rocks and stones into the water.
  • Get your little one place some rocks and stones in the container and see what happens – the water level will go up!
  • Encourage your child to keep adding rocks and stones until the water reaches the top and the toy can take a drink!

For older children, ask them if they can think of any other times they have noticed water displacement, such as when they are in the bathtub!

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