Have available a set of various items to drop – for example a tissue, feather, blocks, paper, coins, piece of tape, small metal car, ribbon, stuffed toy etc. Have a chair available for those that want to be higher. How about from a deck, or a staircase?
Things near the earth fall to the ground unless something holds them up
Make predictions and hypothesize. Test the ideas. Which go slower, faster, twirl around, float? Is there any relationship between size and speed? Between weight and speed? Between height and weight and speed? Can you draw any conclusions? Can you categorize the items in any way at all?
Vocabulary: gravity, force of gravity, earth force/pull, magnetic force. Preschoolers will not understand these terms, but hearing them will form a basis for later learning.
There are some things that can stay in the air and do not always drop. Let’s think of some – make a list. (plane, cloud, balloon, bird, etc) Give a simple explanation.
Compare dropping things through the air, and dropping the same objects through water. Similarities and differences?
Make paper airplanes and fly them. Do they stay in the air without dropping?