Teach your child how to estimate weight with this simple activity you can do at home. Learning how to estimate weight will help develop their critical thinking skills for math and science.
Tools and Supplies
- Scale – a bathroom scale works great
- Various objects to weigh, such as books, toys, a bag of flour, sack potatoes or onions, boxes of breakfast cereal, family members
- Paper and pencil
- Have your child pick out two items such as a five pound bag of sugar and a ten pound bag of potatoes and have him decide which weighs the most. Demonstrate how to use a scale to weigh the items. If the scale is not digital, your child will need to look straight down at the scale to get a correct reading. Have him/her record the weights.
- Then, have him/her pick out several more items and ask him/her to estimate how much each weighs. Have him write his estimates, then weigh the objects. Discuss the accuracy or inaccuracy of the estimates and continue the activity with more objects.
- Finally, have your child estimate their own weight and the weight of other family members. You can extend the activity by having them estimate how many bags of flour or sacks of potatoes would be equal to their own weight.
This is not only a teaching activity, but it’s also a lot of fun. You can get creative and start this activity with a walk in the park, or by the river, and gather rocks, pieces of wood, etc. This will give you a chance to explain some more scientific data, such as density, size, texture, etc.
Or, you can do this weight estimation activity as part of a cooking session with the family that ends with a nice meal. What a great way to teach kids skills they’ll use all their life!