Floating Marker Experiment

Let your child explore the effects of water on different materials as they watch their artwork take on a life of its own! Draw with dry erase markers in a glass bowl, pour water and have your child watch with curiosity and awe as the drawings magically rise up.

Download and Print

Activity PDF

Watch your drawings float away!

This is a fun and simple experiment with water. All you have to do is have your child use dry erase markers to draw inside of a glass bowl. Add some water and then watch as the shapes rise up and float, using a straw to move them around.

📚 Books to explore: All the Water in the World by George Ella Lyon, Over and Under the Pond by Kate Messner, and Hey, Water! by Antoinette Portis.

📷 Picture perfect. Get a picture or video of your child’s reaction — they’re sure to be amazed! 

🏆 Get competitive! See who can move their drawing the fastest by blowing through the straw and racing across the bowl.

Materials

For this activity you will need:

Dry erase markers 

Glass bowl 

Water

Straw

Learning Outcomes

Domain

Cognition

Skills

Cause and effect exploration

Indicators:

Responding with joy to the predictable outcomes of exploration

Instructions

Step 1:

Grab your glass bowl.

Step 2:

Have your child on the inside on the bottom with dry erase markers. Encourage them to get creative by drawing stick figures, animals, boats or anything else they’d like.

Step 3:

Pour in the water.

Step 4:

Use the straw to move your shapes around.

✨ Pro Tip - Some shapes might not lift completely but will wash off.

⬆️ For older preschoolers: Have the older children predict what will happen. You can have them create a graph of their predictions.

⬇️ For younger toddlers: Pre-draw a couple of shapes or stick figures for your child and have them use the straw once the water is poured in.

Playful Questions

What shapes should we draw? 

What will happen if I pour water in the bowl? 

Why do you think it floated? 

Can we move the shape around?

What should we draw next?