Apr 5, 2015

Displacement Experiment for Toddlers

Happy Easter! Today we are participating in the A-Z Science Experiments for Kids series (click the link for more info and to see some of the other posts!) hosted by Frogs and Snails and Puppy Dog Tails. We have been trying to incorporate more science and math into our toddler homeschool days over here, so this series was perfect! We chose letter D for Displacement. I set up a simple activity for Kingston using eggs.

First we took 4 glasses and filled them up with 1/2 cup of water each. Then I set out an empty plastic egg, a plastic egg filled with beads, a hardboiled egg, and a raw egg. (Note: Make sure that your little one is extra careful when handling the raw egg!) I also provided a ruler and a dry erase marker so that we could control and measure our experiment. 

I started by giving Kingston a brief lesson on displacement. I tried to use toddler terms to explain that when you put objects in water, the water has to move out of the way and is displaced. We talked about how small objects may move the water a little while big objects would move it a lot. (This of course prompted Kingston to want to put his giant tractor in the glass of water, but he got back on track once we took the ruler out! Oh toddlers!) 

We measured the water in the glasses with the ruler first. K told me that the water came up to the 2, so we marked our glasses and wrote 2's. Then, I had Kingston gently place each egg in the cup and we measured the amount of water that was displaced. 

Kingston hypothesized that the two plastic eggs would float and that the hardboiled egg (which was still warm from the stove) would sink because it was "berry berry hot!". Our displacement activity was clearly a sink or float activity in his mind. I loved seeing his wheels turning and that he was thinking scientifically, even if he wasn't quite understanding the displacement concept yet! 

We observed that the plastic egg floated and didn't displace any measurable water, the egg filled with beads made the water rise to 2.25 inches, and both the hardboiled egg and the raw egg displaced the water equally to 2.5 inches. We used our ruler to measure all of these and determined that the raw and hardboiled eggs displaced the most water. 

Once we were done observing, our science experiment quickly turned into a water play activity. . . because what toddler can resist water play?! He was pretending that the beads inside the eggs were his seeds and he was planting the seeds in the water. Pretty clever and scientific if you ask me! ;) 

Interested in seeing the other posts in this series? Head over to the A-Z Science Experiments for Kids Landing Page to read the posts and follow along! 

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