Buoyancy: What Stays Afloat?

We usually think of buoyancy as the ability of an item to float on the surface of the water.

But it has another meaning as well.

It can also refer to keeping oneself afloat emotionally during challenging times.

When circumstances are stressful, how can we take care of ourselves and each other, and lean on our community so we don’t get pulled under for long?

Let’s have a little fun exploring both meanings this week!

Check out the video below to hear more:


Head outside to your closest body of water. It could be a river, lake, pond or puddle. It could even be a bucket of water in your backyard if need be.

Explore the area and look for different natural objects to test if they will float. One by one, place each item on the water.

Does it float easily?

Does it sink? If so, how quickly?

Now, use some of your items proven to float to fashion a little boat of sorts. Use your creativity here. There are no wrong ways to do this.

While you are making your boat, be sure to test its sea-worthiness along the way.

Adjust your design as necessary and take it for a maiden voyage!



Let’s use this space to brainstorm all the ways we can keep our families afloat during challenging times. This includes all the ways we take care of each other and reach out for support, as a life preserver so to speak, as needed.

Supplies needed:
Big paper or tagboard

Regular paper for brainstorming

Writing utensils – Pens, markers, etc

1. As a family, use your brainstorming paper to draw or write down some of the ways you take care of each other when life is stressful.

2. Include ways that you reach out to ask for help as well, and the people in your life you can count on.

3. Give everyone a chance to add at least a couple ideas.

4. Now, on your large piece of paper, design boat together that will keep you all afloat. Your boat can be any design you like…a raft, a pirate ship, a speed boat…anything! Just make sure you can all fit in the boat!

5. Finally, take all the things from your brainstorming paper and add them to your big drawing, either as written words or pictures.

6. Hang your drawing somewhere you can all see it, especially when life gets challenging.


(Choose one each day and either answer together around the meal table, or write about it in your family nature journal)

1. What do you most appreciate about the way your family supports each other?
2. What surprised you most when testing out the different objects’ buoyancy?
3. What is your favorite type of boat and why?
4. What qualities did you notice about the objects that most easily float?
5. What lessons about life can we learn about the way things stay afloat?
6. Are there any other ways you can think of to solidify the buoyancy of your family support system?
7. What changes have you noticed in nature this week?


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