A Fun Activity to Introduce Density to Children

Hero image
Photo of Emma Vanstone
Updated | 2 min read

We’re very excited to be sharing a fun demonstration of density on Teach Starter today. Even if your children are too young to really understand the concept, they’ll still love watching different layers form when you add liquids of different densities to a glass and how different objects float on the different layers. The liquids with the greatest density sink to the bottom.

You can add as many layers as you want, and experiment to see how they sit on top of each other.

What you need

  • Vegetable oil
  • Water
  • LEGO or other small objects.
  • Other liquids to try are golden syrup, treacle, milk, honey, coloured water.

Instructions

Pour some water carefully into a glass or jar.

Very carefully add about the same volume of cooking oil on top.

Then drop a couple of small objects into the mixture and observe what happens. Can you find something to float on each layer?

What happens if you shake it?

What do you think of our spooky Halloween density glass?

The science bit

Each of the liquids have a different mass of molecules or different numbers of parts squashed into the same volume of liquid, this makes them have different densities and therefore one can sit on top of the other – the more dense a liquid is the heavier it is.

Objects and liquids float on liquids of a higher density and sink through liquids of lower density. The LEGO brick sinks through the oil but floats on the water, while the coin sinks through both. The coin is therefore more dense than both the oil and the water. The plastic bug floating on the oil is less dense than both.

Density is how much mass is in a volume (or space).

Related Posts

Creepy Density

Summer Density

Some density magic

Did you try the magnetism activity we shared last month?

Do check out Science Sparks on Facebook too.

After reading this blog, you might be interested in:

Image of States of Matter Poster

teaching resource

States of Matter Poster

A poster showing the States of Matter.

Teach Starter Publishing2 pagesYears: 2 - 7

Comments

Login to comment

Popular blogs right now!

  • Go to Book Week Costume Ideas for Teachers blog

    blog

    Book Week Costume Ideas for Teachers

    Are you looking for some Book Week costume ideas for teachers? Check out these super cool ideas from some of our favourite teachers!

    Photo of Holly (Teach Starter) 
    4 min read
    Teach Starter Publishing
  • Go to 6 Effective Ways to Make a Fresh Start for Teachers blog

    blog

    6 Effective Ways to Make a Fresh Start for Teachers

    If you want to make a fresh start in some aspect of your teaching life, you are not alone. Read on for helpful tips and ideas for making a fresh start and kicking off a new term with renewed energy.

    Photo of Alison Smith 
    4 min read
    Teach Starter Publishing
  • Go to Book Week Activity Ideas for the Classroom blog

    blog

    Book Week Activity Ideas for the Classroom

    If you're looking for the ultimate Book Week 2022 activity ideas for your classroom - you've come to the right spot!

    Photo of Holly (Teach Starter) 
    3 min read
    Teach Starter Publishing
  • Go to 10 Ways to Calm Your Class After Lunch (Teaching Tips) blog

    blog

    10 Ways to Calm Your Class After Lunch (Teaching Tips)

    Finding ways to calm your class after lunch is a must in any classroom! Check out our top ten ideas featured in this blog.

    Photo of Holly (Teach Starter) 
    5 min read
    Teach Starter Publishing
  • Go to Easy Science Activities for Kids blog

    blog

    Easy Science Activities for Kids

    Amazing science activities for kids that use minimal materials and work every time!

    Photo of Holly (Teach Starter) 
    4 min read
    Teach Starter Publishing