Sink or Float Sensory Sink with Natural and Found Objects - My Nearest And Dearest

Sink or Float Sensory Sink with Natural and Found Objects

Looking for a simple science activity for your toddler or preschooler? Sink or float experiments are always a hit with the little ones. This one is quick and easy to set up and uses natural materials that you can find outside or in your own house.
water activity for kids with objects from nature


Welcome to another Sensory Sink Sunday! If you’re visiting us for the first time you might like to take a look at our introductory post, which explains what sensory sinks are all about and how we’re doing this series.

All our sensory sink activities in this series can be found by clicking the following links:

  1. Introducing Sensory Sink Sundays!
  2. Inspired by Baking Sensory Sink
  3. Messy Mud and Worms Sensory Sink
  4. Sunken Treasure Sensory Sink
  5. Sink or Float Sensory Sink
  6. Pond Themed Sensory Sink


This week’s theme is sink or float. Peanut (34 months) and I have been playing with objects from nature recently and so I decided to use natural and/or found items for our sensory sink.

What We Used:

  • pinecones (2 types)
  • pine needles
  • rocks (different sizes)
  • a small piece of wood
  • acorns
  • a shell
  • a periwinkle
  • sea glass
  • a piece of pottery found on the beach
  • a walnut in its shell
  • dry lentils
  • a raisin
  • a cashew
  • a wooden bead


Peanut watched me collect these items from around the house and excitedly said, “I’m ready to do the sensory bin!”. Never mind that it was a sink rather than bin based activity; I was just pleased to have such an enthusiastic boy!

We began by putting a piece of felt on the bottom of the sink since we’d be dropping heavy objects into it.


Putting felt in sink


I put a washcloth on each side of the sink. I put a card with the word “sink” on one and a card with the word “float” on the other. Peanut is obviously too young to read however he does understand that words in our environment give us information. I chose different colored cloths to help him remember which one was for the items that sunk and which was for the items that floated.

I then gave him the container with all the objects I’d collected and he began dropping them one-by-one into the sink.


sink or float experiment for preschoolers


For the most part Peanut did very well assigning each item to the correct washcloth. I believe in the philosophy of learning through play however, so when he grew tired of classifying each object I simply let him enjoy playing at the sink.


sink or float experiment


To see what Frogs & Snails & Puppy Dog Tails did with this week’s theme, please click here:Sink or Float Sensory Sink.

For more sensory play indoors and at the sink, please see our Sensory Sinks and Indoor Water Play page.


Sensory Sink Sundays Series 2



Thanks for reading!



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