Action Figure Float

(For Ages 5+)


  • Action figure toys
  • Sponges
  • Washcloths
  • Plastic dishes
  • Timer
  • 1+ player

Prep Time:

  • 15 minutes

Recipe for Fun!

A fun game for kids to play in the bathtub, pool or kitchen sink! This game can be competitive or can be played solo. This is a game of prediction, trial, and error. It’s fun to let give kids kitchen sponges and a pair of scissors and allow them to make rafts, tubes and other toy-sized flotation devices. This is a great game for those long days when kids are stuck inside and bored.

Tips for Playing Action Figure Float: The game is more fun (and more educational) if the kids bring toys of different sizes and weights to the game. Another way to extend play - send the kids on a “Will it Float” scavenger hunt for other household items (and toys!) that they think will not only float but hold the weight of their favorite action figure toy. If their idea doesn’t float, encourage them to try again with a different object.

A Note About Rules: Kids love to set and enforce rules. So, resist the urge to create the rules yourself. Instead, ask the kids to set the rules of play. For instance, what “counts” as sinking? If an action figure gets wet, or if it sinks to the bottom? Are toy boats allowed in play? Can the sink or hose be turned on while the countdown is on? You may be surprised at how seriously your kid take creating the list of rules, and how well they enforce them on not only other player, but also themselves.

How to Play Action Figure Float:

  1. Have your kids gather their favorite action figure toys, as well as items your children believe will float.
  2. Fill the bathtub, children’s pool, or sink with water.
  3. Ask each child to make a prediction about how long their item will float and prevent the action figure from getting wet.
  4. Start the timer.
  5. Have each child carefully place the toy’s flotation device on top of the water, then place their action figure on it.
  6. The toy that floats the longest wins!

Modification - How to play Action Figure Float with 1 player: Instead of competing against their sibling, or friend, your child can compete against their own prediction. Did the toy float for the minimum amount of time they predicted? If not, it’s back to the drawing board!

Benefits of playing STEM games like Action Figure Float: When kids play games like Action Figure Float, they get an early lesson in the scientific method. Asking questions, creating a hypothesis and creating a series of real-world experiments is a scientific skill! Also, kids learn to manage their emotions when their hypothesis proves incorrect and their toy sinks. Emotional resiliency is developed through experiences that encourage trial and error. Looking for more play ideas? Check out our cool list of 20 Indoor Play Ideas for Kids!