BSW day 5: Bobbing boats

Today was going to be Boybug’s day of science…but after a busy morning at our usual toddler group he slept through our scheduled experiment. 

So we waited for big sis to come home, and got very wet together. I kid myself when I think this would be any more controlled with just Boybug. He was responsible for at least 80% of the mess.

I came up with this activity this morning, inspired by the empty milk carton sitting in the sink, listing sadly to one side. I bet we can turn that into a boat. And then load it with things and see if we can make it capsize. A little lesson on density, floating and sinking, loads, forces, and balance. Plenty of science. And lots of art and craft thrown into the mix (as I’ve mentioned before, there’s a lot of art to science). 

I didn’t really think this through. This was wet and messy. My socks are still damp now. The first stage was making the boat – half a milk carton, and a pipe cleaner and feather attached with tape. I did try to tell Girlbug that pen and glue wouldn’t stay on once they got wet, but she persevered anyway (top picture). As I was watching her, Boybug made a beeline for the arts n craft box. We now have a glittery floor, with sequins lined up in the grout between tiles! 

But, the boat floated, hurrah! Then we set to work working out how many lentils it could hold before sinking. I really, really didn’t think this through. It started ok (2nd picture on right), but quickly got out of hand (bottom left). The floor now had sticky lentils strewn across it’s glittery surface. The water was full of lentils, that just stuck to everything. So we had to have a quick break while I sorted the lentil-spillage. 

With fresh water, we continued. Girlbug decided to make a catamaran while Boybug just splashed. Then they both realised that the half milk bottles made effective scoops and tipped the entire contents of the bowl over the floor. That’s when I gave up. 

While Girlbug may have learnt something about floating, I think the major life lesson was mine. Water, lentils, glitter, sequins and kids do not mix!



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