This easy water displacement experiment is a fun way to teach toddlers and preschoolers about water displacement. Using stones and a jug of water, kids will see with their own eyes what water displacement is all about. Terrific activity to do after reading the book The Crow and the Pitcher too!
When it comes to science experiments for preschoolers, I like to keep things simple and affordable, using items we already have around the like the house. That’s definitely the case with this water play activity.
We have quite a large collection of stones for play so it was easy to pull this activity together, and the hooligans had so much fun with it!
When I was young, I was fascinated by a fable called The Crow and the Pitcher, a story about a thirsty crow who knew all about water displacement. He dropped stones into a pitcher half-full of water, to raise the level of the water high enough that he could take a drink.
We re-created that story using a few items that we had here at home.
You can purchase The Crow and the Pitcher here if you’d like to read it to your children before doing this experiment. (As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.)
Items needed for your water displacement activity:
- a clear, plastic container
- stones and rocks
- plastic toy
- permanent marker
Conducting our water displacement experiment:
We experimented with a few different containers, and discovered that the one with the largest opening worked best.
We filled our container with water, and I marked the level of the water on the container so we could monitor our progress.
Then I hooked a plastic toy turtle to the top of the container, and the fun began.
The children worked together, dropping the stones into the container.
More easy science activities for toddlers and preschoolers:
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Jackie is a mom, wife, home daycare provider, and the creative spirit behind Happy Hooligans. She specializes in kids’ crafts and activities, easy recipes, and parenting. In 1997, Jackie stepped out of the corporate world to start a family and to open her own home daycare. She began blogging in 2011, and today, Happy Hooligans inspires more than 2 million parents, caregivers and Early Years Professionals all over the globe.