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Hi all we are doing weight next week. W e have been on a visit to our local woods today and were going to use the objetcs next week on scales - heavier lighter etc.. The only problem is i think it going to be really boring and if i'm dreading doing it then it is certainly not going to inspire the children. Has anyone got any fun and exciting ideas to approach weighing heavier/lighter?

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Hi Lola,

I have begun this theme with lots of estimation. Whose shoe is heavier? can you find 3 objects lighter than ... I am doing a theme on space soon, I will cover several rocks in foil (moon rocks) and ask the children to estimate which is the heaviest/lightest. Can they put them in order of size or weight. You can then move on to using playdough i.e can you make the balance's balance using the playdough and a given object. Or use non-standard units such as shells etc. I think the key is to make it as real as possible - maybe link to the role play. This term I have a Health Food shop, the children will be given opportunties to use the balances by weighing objects in the shop such as fruit, vegetables, pasta etc. Which vegetable is the heaviest? Which fruits weigh the same?

Hope this is of some help.


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We did a nice practical weighing with mystery boxes. Wrapped 2 identical sized boxes in matching paper but filled one box of each pair with sand before wrapping. We had 6 or 7 sets of different sizes and shapes of pairs of boxes but the children really enjoyed weighing them in hands or on scales then sorting into groups of heavy and light boxes. Not anything new i'm sure but all I can conjure up at this time of night!!

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I used weighing scales this week for snack.We used persplex bucket scales adding raisins to balance with the conker.We put empty bowls in each side so that when the children had individually spoon the raisins in one side from a big bowl we could just lift the bowl out and eat them!


I'm thinking of taking in my electronic scales when I can think of a snack where we can see the numbers go up.I going to use ounces just because we are recognising single digits.First |I have to work out how many grapes,cherry tomatoes or something similair in 3oz.

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  • 1 month later...

We did this exercise and the children loved it! :o


You could encourage some problem solving by encouraging the children to use logs, feathers, pine cones and leaves by collecting them and then putting them each into boxes and then ask another group of children to guess what is inside - give the boxes a shake, let them weigh them and maybe even feel them (if they are stuck!) then they can guess which box contains which objects.


Learning objectives:

• Use developing mathematical ideas and methods to solve practical problems

• Use mathematical language – heavier, lighter, bigger, smaller to compare

• Use size language such as ‘big’ and ‘little’

• Order two or more items


Discuss the game and what resources are available, allow the children to get the resources themselves to promote independence and ownership. Let one group of children look at the boxes and then put them in size order, biggest to smallest - can you sort them any other way e.g by shape, colour, pattern etc. Then together decide which one is the best for the objects to fit into. Make sure the other groups cannot see what you are doing or it will spoil the surprise.


Encourage the children to estimate if they think the box will be heavy or light just by looking at it. (Just because something is large it does not mean it will also be heavy so try to make some suggestions that reinforce the idea that big is not always heavy – e.g. balloons). If the box is too heavy for the scales can the children think of another way to weigh the box - e.g using non standard measures or bathroom scales - what do they do in the post office when they get heavy parcels?


Model language such as:-



•Big/Little/Bigger/smaller/Too big/Too small





•Does fit/doesn't fit


Key Questions:

•How do you think we can do this task?

•Is there another way you could...?

•What's different/what's the same?

•What do we do now?

•Do you think this will fit/be big enough?

•Can you weigh the box?

•What could we use to help us?

•Can you put them in size order?

•Which is heavier/ lighter/ bigger/ smaller?

•Will it fit into that box?


I hope this helps?

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