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Day 34: Sink or float, a nature riddle and the Skolfield Shores Preserve chapter of the Junior Ranger Activity Book

Outdoor activity ideas and inspiration

From mid-March to the end of May 2020, Harpswell Heritage Land Trust (HHLT) posted a simple outdoor activity idea and nature riddle for kids every weekday. Some days we also posted other resources, like downloadable chapters of the Junior Ranger Activity Book.

Created to support parents who found themselves homeschooling during the COVID-19 pandemic, these activity ideas are a great jumping off point for any outdoor adventure. Click here for a list with links to all 50 activity ideas.

Nature riddle

The male of this small sea duck, often spotted in Maine in the late fall, engages in entertaining courtship displays to attract a mate. You can see him make excited whooping calls, bob his head, flash his wings and make short display flights, all with the crest feathers on his head fully erect. Click here to read more about this fascinating animal.

Sink or float

In my opinion, science practices are just as important as science content. It’s a great experience for kids to do science (not just learn about it). One fun way to practice science is to design an investigation. Simply, think of a question, make a guess and test your guess. A simple and fun introduction to making and testing guesses is to do the sink or float experiment.

  1. Get a bowl or bucket and fill it close to the top with water.
  2. Have your child collect a variety of natural objects. Have them collect objects they think will sink and objects they think will float.
  3. Gather the objects in a pile next to the bowl of water.
  4. Test each object one at a time. Have your child guess sink or float for each item before they place it in the water.
  5. Talk about which they guessed right and which they guessed wrong, and what they learned from guessing wrong.
  6. If you want to take on another similar experiment, get out a fan and see which items float on the wind and which drop to the ground.

Skolfield Shores Preserve chapter of the Junior Ranger Activity Book

The Junior Ranger Activity Book includes engaging science content, activity ideas and trail maps! It’s a great resource to learn about and explore nature and get outdoors, even if you don’t live near Harpswell. The book was created by Emma Levy, who was a high school senior when she wrote it. Click here for more about the book.

You can download the entire book, chapter by chapter, from our outdoor activity ideas posts.

Click here for the Skolfield Shores Preserve chapter of the book.

If you would like a physical copy of the whole book, you can order it on our website for just $5 + $4 shipping. Click here to order.