This activity encourages children to explore and discover the feel of water. This is a sensory experience with cognitive applications for classifying and sorting. It will enable children to measure and assess the amount of water needed during the activity. Water play helps develop floating and sinking concepts.

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Resources needed:

• Different sized plastic containers for pouring (funnels, sponges, cups etc.)

• Trough

• Boats and weights (floating and sinking)


Use the various containers to pour water from one to the other. Place the boats on top of the water and watch them float. Put a weight on to the boat and watch it sink. Ask the children taking part – how many weights does it take to sink the boat? Does each container hold the same amount of water?

Extension of Activity:

• Use of coloured water (visual)

• Use of small filled balloons (floating and sinking)

• Freeze small figurines and place them in trough to thaw out (discovery concepts and sensory)

• Add bubbles (sensory)

• Make paper/cardboard boats (floating and sinking)

• Fishing – add plastic magnetic fish and rods (math concepts)

Links to Early Years Learning Framework (EYLF):

• Children are connected with and contribute to their world (outcome)

• Children are confident and involved learners (outcome)

• Learning through play (practice)

• Intentional teaching (practice)

• Respect for diversity (principles)

• Ongoing learning

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