The Practical activities introduce the concept of using non-standard units to measure the weight of objects.
How many cubes? (1)
Provide balance scales, multilink cubes/counters/pasta and a selection of objects for the children to weigh, using multilink cubes/counters/pasta as a non-standard measure. Children find how many cubes/counter/pasta it takes to balance each object. Encourage them to say the stem sentence: A ___ weighs about the same as ___ cubes. Children then make a tower of the cubes and put it alongside the item weighed. When they have weighed another item, they compare the two items, using the towers of cubes to show which item is heavier. After weighing a third item, children could put the items in order, lightest to heaviest, using the towers of cubes to help them. Ask: How many cubes will be needed to balance a banana? How many cubes weigh about the same as the toy car? How does this help
How many cubes? (2)
Give children some items that will weigh less than 20 cubes/counters/pasta pieces. Provide plenty of multilink cubes/counters/pasta and balance scales. Ask children to predict how many cubes will be needed to make an object balance. They use balance scales to check their predictions and then put their items in order, heaviest to lightest. Allow children time to investigate further objects. Ask: Can you find an item that weighs about the same as 10 cubes? About the same as 20 cubes?
Heavier or lighter
Give your child an object and ask them to find something heavier and something lighter. Encourage them to think about how they could check. If they have not used cubes as a non-standard measure, as in the above activities, give them the opportunity to use this method here.