While on vacation last week my girls went shell collecting almost every day. They loved comparing, sorting, and trading their shells. My oldest claimed “I have the most shells because my bucket is the heaviest. ”M” can I see your bucket to see how much it weighs?” She then proceeded to use her arms as a balance. Of course her bucket went all the way to the ground while my 5 year old’s stayed high in the air. :-P
We talked about how heaviest does’t necessarily mean the most.
My 5 year old… “you have a big rock in there!!” I watched from a distance to see how it would play out. They decided to dump all their shells out and count them. My youngest ended up having the most shells because she collected a lot of tiny little pieces. Her bucket was the lightest….
Of course my brain is spinning on how I can play off of this. I got lost in the world of Google and found a lot of table top balance scales like this one…
I put this one on our wish list as it might be something we want for indoors. However, with summer around the corner I wanted an outdoor scale.
After searching for an outdoor scale I could hardly find anything! I came across THIS for $600.00!!!
I knew exactly what I wanted in my head but had no idea what it was called. I’ve seen my husband use them before. I tried explaining it to him and he looked at me like I was crazy…. as did the “home depot guy”. So with a couple hours of kid free time I wandered aimlessly around home depot…. Found it!
The total cost to make the scale was less than $8.00
WHAT YOU NEED:
All the words are clickable. They will take you to the Home Depot Website where you have the option of doing a store pick up. No searching in Home Depot Required!
You may want to get a couple more S hooks for calibration.
The metal bar that we used is great to create a NUMBER BALANCE!
For this we used SPRINGS. We only started with 4 because I wanted to make sure it was well received. I will definitely be adding more.
I simply found the middle and then put numbers 1-10 (skipping a hole) on both sides. Starting with number 1 closest to the middle.
Here you can see my 5 year old did the math equation… 9 (left side) = 2 + 7 (right side)
Depending on how straight everything is you might need a little calibration. We used extra S clips for calibration when needed.
My 5 year old testing it out.
I like the springs because you can easily attach them to one another. Here I showed her how 4 + 4 = 8. You can see two springs hanging from number 4.
My 5 year old played with this for hours yesterday!
Here we added buckets at the ends and played with colored water.
My daughter stands back to see if they will balance.
“The blue is lighter…. it needs more water for it to balance.”
To see a video of my 5 year old trying to balance shells click on the link below.
Since this is getting so much use I asked my husband to put the post in the ground with cement to make everything more secure.
Another option is to use stickers for your number line and shower curtain hooks as you weights, as AK did……
Some accessories for the balance you may find fun: