Ever wondered why Toypedo Bandits sink to the bottom of a pool while Paddlin’ Pups float on top of the water? It all has to do with weight and volume. Weight is how heavy something is, and volume is how much space it takes up.

Usually, we think things will be heavier if they’re bigger, but that’s not always true. For instance, take a rock the size of your hand and a balloon the size of your head. The rock is smaller but heavier and the balloon is bigger but lighter. That’s because the rock has more weight, and the balloon has move volume.

But what’s density? Density is when you compare 2 different objects that are the same size and see which one is heavier. The heavier object has more density.  And water has density too! If an object, like the Toypedo Bandits, has a density higher than water, it will sink. If an object, like the Paddlin’ Pups, has a lower density than water, it will float.

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  • Tall, narrow glass
  • 2-3 oz each of liquids:
  • Honey (most dense)
  • Pure maple syrup
  • Dish soap
  • Water
  • Cooking oil (least dense)
  • Small objects of your choice, like a marble, paperclip,
    dice, grape, etc.

Parental supervision required.


Add the liquids to the glass in order of most dense to least dense, starting with honey.


Add maple syrup. It will rest on top of the honey because it’s less dense.


Add dish soap on top of the maple syrup.


Add water on top of the dish soap.


Finally, add the oil on top of the water. It will sit at the very top because it is the least dense.


Take one of your objects and drop into the glass. How far did it fall?


Drop in more items to see which one is the most dense and drops to the bottom.


Object will rest on the layer that matches their density. Where did all your items land?