Pre-School Science: Can An Egg Float?

Since she learned that astronauts do science experiments when they're in outer space, T has been obsessed with doing "experiments." Sometimes I can get by with "experiments are like puzzles, why don't you work on one of your puzzles to practice?" Sometimes...that ish doesn't fly.

Today was one of those days--she's bored, I'm exhausted and really don't feel like leaving the house (#24weekspregnant), so it's a Science Day. We decided to see if we could make an egg float.

To start, we talked about how astronauts would perform an experiment: they ask a question, pose a hypothesis, decide how they will test the hypothesis, make observations, and come to a conclusion. Here's what she decided was best (with help, she's 3 after all):

Question: Can an egg float?
Hypothesis: An egg will go up (float) in water every time.
Procedure: Put an egg in different solutions: water/sugar, water/flour, water/salt, plain water (yes, I came up with this part).

She got to work. I had her pour equal-ish amounts of water in each of four identical glasses, then I added one spoonful of either sugar, flour, or salt to three of the glasses and let her stir them until they were dissolved:

Then, I carefully placed the (raw) egg in each cup and we observed what happened.


Sugar/Water Solution

Flour/Water Solution

Salt/Water Solution

Our experiment ended as a success--the egg floated, but only in salt water. It opened up a line of conversation about buoyancy, water, and how astronauts practice being in outer space in the water.

Two things about this particular experiment: 

1. Make sure your eggs are fresh. If they're starting to turn (or have turned), they will float in a glass of water. We actually use that test on our eggs to see if they're still good. If it floats...toss it. 

2. If your kiddo is easily frustrated, put the salt solution somewhere in the middle. T was getting upset that her hypothesis was a failure because she'd had three unsuccessful attempts before she hit the jackpot. I'm guessing you wouldn't want a frustrated hand to knock a glass filled with sugar water all over your house. 

Try this simple experiment with your littles and let me know how it goes!


Lindsay Sweeting was in the world of Marketing and Publicity in her previous life. These days you're more likely to see her running after her toddler than running a meeting, but she does her best to find time to create new recipes, come up with fun activities for her daughter, and write about the craziness that is life in the Sweeting house.

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