Learning about buoyancy: a little education… and a whole lot of fun!

Each week, Jessica comes home with a task to complete in her home learning book. She has recently been learning about buoyancy at school. Her home learning task that week was to drop different objects into a bowl of water and find out which ones floated and which ones sank. The garden seemed the most sensible place for testing this out and so I set up the tuff spot with a bowl of water in the middle and a selection of different objects.


Jessica dropping a duck into a bowl of water: "Learning about buoyancy: a little education... and a whole lot of fun"


Jessica and Sophie took it in turns to drop things into the bowl of water. I encouraged them to guess beforehand whether the object would float or sink. On the whole, Jessica did fairly well with her guesses. Her reasoning was that bigger objects would float and smaller ones would sink. To be fair, most of the objects that did float were the bigger objects – a bowl, a postcard, a toy boat. I did try to explain a little about buoyancy and density but I think the science was lost on her. Playing in the water was much more interesting!


Jessica and Sophie mixing some soil into the water in the bowl


Once we’d finished with the objects I’d collected, the girls started collecting objects of their own from around the garden. Flowers, grass, sticks, stones and mud. Mixing up all the different things in the bowl was fun. They weren’t too keen on having muddy hands though. I had to go and change the water so they could clean their hands again.


Sophie paddling in the washing up bowl


Once they’d cleaned their hands, the next logical step was to take off their shoes and socks to paddle in the bowl. The washing up bowl was far too small for both of them to paddle in though. We tipped the water into the tuff spot instead. Much more fun – and much easier to paddle. Needless to say, they wanted Mummy to add more water for them to splash about in!


Jessica and Sophie paddling in the tuff spot


The girls had enjoyed sliding down the slide into the paddling pool last summer. Jessica remembered it and wanted to repeat it. We dragged the slide over to the tuff spot for some more splashy fun. The pure joy on their faces as they slid down into the water was wonderful. Pure childhood fun at its best!


Jessica sliding down the slide into the water in the tuff spot

Sophie sliding down the slide into the water in the tuff spot


I loved watching Jessica and Sophie having fun soaking each other and splashing around. It wasn’t quite so much fun stripping off the wet clothes when Jessica got cold and needed warming up quickly. Next time we do some water experiments, I shall have to make sure I put the girls in their swimsuits to start with and be better prepared!


Sophie splashing in the tuff spot and looking at the bubbles

Jessica and Sophie sitting in the water in the tuff spot


Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

16 thoughts on “Learning about buoyancy: a little education… and a whole lot of fun!

  1. What I love most about this post is the spontaneity of how it all came about. I should do a preschool activity hour based on buoyancy, it’;s a lovely idea, I am often struggling for simple educational ideas with my youngest guests. How wonderful that the girls took maters into their own hands after this experimenting with things around the garden. The water and slide combination was a natural progression, sometimes it’s great just to go with the flow like this and not worry about the clothes. At least they took their shoes off. I can’t tell you how many times mine, at not much older, would come home from school and jump in the river ruining another pair o f school shoes!

    Thank you for sharing with me on #CountryKids

    1. I loved the way it naturally progressed too. I’m not always good at being relaxed when it comes to messy play but it was lovely to just go with the flow and let them have fun 🙂

  2. I did this little science experiment with Lily a little while ago! Its great fun! Love how the fun carried on for your girls after the activity had finished 🙂 #Countrykids

  3. Looks like the girls had great fun and it all started from them exploring and learning! Much more likely to remember things if they have fun doing it. Thanks for sharing #countrykids

    1. Having fun definitely helps with learning. I think this might have been Jessica’s favourite home learning activity so far 🙂

  4. I can’t tell you how much I love this post. The science teacher in me loves that the girls are investigating density. However, it brings back wonderful memories of putting a paddling pool at the bottom of our slide when we were kids. Pure joy.

  5. I keep thinking I must get hold of a tuff spot as they appear to be useful for so many experiments. Great to see the girls having fun together. #CountryKids

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