Weighing scale for kids

Image titled Make a Balance Scale for Kids Step 1Find a notched hanger. These are the plastic or wooden hangers with notches cut out of the top section so that you can hang items with straps.

Grab some fishing line or some yarn. Yarn is easier for younger children, while line or twine may be better for older children for its sophisticated look.

Wash out two plastic yogurt cups. They should be at least four oz. containers and have a large lip. Wash them out and dry them thoroughly.
  • You can also use plastic drinking cups.

Set the items on a worktable. You will want to grab a hole punch or small pointy awl for punching holes in the plastic. It is best that adults handle this single portion of the project.

Part 2

Creating a Balance Scale
  1. Lay out all the items on a worktable. Make sure your child can reach them all.
  2. Explain the project to your child. Hold the hanger up and show how the hanger tips from side to side when there are weights at either end. Show that you will hang items on either side to balance the scale and compare items by their weight.
  3. Measure the circumference of the identical plastic cups. A fabric measuring tape is perfect for this use. Divide the circumference by three, since you will make three equidistant holes in each cup.
    • For example, if it is six inches long, you will want to mark a hole every two inches.
    • Try to do the sums together with your child. This is a great simple math activity for a school-aged child.
  4. Image titled Make a Balance Scale for Kids Step 2 Mark a hole with a permanent marker near the top rim three times, one-third the way around the top. Repeat on the other plastic cup.
  5. Stick an awl or hole punch through each of your marked holes. Do this part of the project yourself. You can also tape the yarn to the cup if you want this to be a child-only activity.
  6. Measure six equal lengths of yarn or fishing line. They should be about one foot long.
  7. Loop one end of the yarn through a hole and tie it securely with a double knot. Repeat with three holes in the yogurt cup and tie the three pieces together at the top. Tie a loop into the top as well, so that you can hang the cups.
    • Repeat with the other plastic cup.
  8. Bring the loop in the yarn around the notched portion of the hanger. Repeat with the other cup. Make sure the cups are secure and even before you start to play.

Image titled Make a Balance Scale for Kids Step 3

Part 3

Using the Balance Scale For Play
  1. Loop the hanger over a door handle or a curtain rod.
  2. Give your child some dried beans. Place some beans in one end, and then ask them to fill the other section until the weight is even.
  3. Continue the adventure with the child’s toys that are small enough to fit in the cups. Have your child weight figures on either side until they are even.
  4. Decorate the balance scale with your kids. Tell them that every decoration must be exactly the same on each side to ensure it weighs items properly. Discuss a mirror image or symmetrical image to further their learning.

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  • Brainstorm other ways you could make a scale, once the child understands the concept. For instance, a table scale can be made with a wooden paint stick, cups, string, a pencil, a binder clip and a heavy book. Hang the cups off of the stick, and then attach the pencil to the middle of the stick, in a perpendicular fashion with the binder clip. Lay a book over the pencil on a table. The scale should work in a similar way to the hanger scale over the side of your table.


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