When I picked up Melissa Stewart's "Will it Float or Sink?" at a yard sale, I knew the book would be the springboard for a fun afterschool activity. I was right.
To prepare for our experiment, I gathered some things from around the house and a big bowl from the kitchen. I made two columns in my son's journal with the words "Floats" and "Sinks" at the top. All that was left to do was wait for school to get out.
When my son got home, I explained the experiment and invited him to add a few things to the pile of items we were going to dunk. Then I asked him to explain to me what "float" and "sink" mean and to predict what things would sink. He told me that the bigger stuff would sink. To his reply I said, "Let's find out."
We read the Rookie Read-About Science book together to find out why and learned about matter. After reading the book, he turned the page of his journal where I'd written "Things that float ..." He completed the sentence by recapping what he'd learned: Things that float 1) are lighter than water or 2) filled with air.
This was an easy activity that my son really enjoyed. The only advice I can give to those who replicate this is to make sure to roll up your child's sleeves first and have some towels ready. Happy experimenting!