Which Is Heavier?

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We loved this idea for an easy, at-home balancing scale from the September issue of High Five magazine. To make it, you’ll just need a few items you likely already have lying around the house. Then the weighing fun begins!

To set up the scale, punch holes in the sides of two plastic cups – one brand in our cupboard was actually too tough to punch, but we managed to get holes in a second brand – phew!

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Thread pipe cleaners through the holes, then loop the pipe cleaners onto a hanger with hooks. Place on a door so the cups hang evenly.

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Now it was time to play scientist and test out a few combinations. For each pair of the following, I asked Travis which he guessed would be heavier before we actually weighted.

1 stuffed animal vs. 3 toy cars

5 markers vs. 5 crayons

1 toilet paper tube vs. 4 quarters

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When a small toilet paper tube didn’t balance the quarters, he suggested trying a longer paper towel tube – a much closer balance!

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He loved it so much he was soon running around the house to test combinations. A rock from his collection was by far the heaviest thing, and we had fun trying to guess what might balance it out. A big set of old car keys came closest.

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In sum, a great way to introduce balancing scales to your child, without any complicated work involved. Thanks High Five!