Preschool Science: Weight

There are so many ways to explore the world with a preschooler…  Comparisons, observations, questions, answers, and most of all curiosity driven conversations (why? why? why?).  Yesterday we explored our house with a set of spring scales and talked about weight. This post contains affiliate links.

Explore the house with a set of scales for a fun way to learn about weight. Great for encouraging observation and hypothesis skills in preschoolers.

What is Weight?

Weight is the force generated by the gravitational pull of the earth on an object.  It translates into heaviness in real life.  Weight is variable depending upon how far from the earth’s surface you are.  So when you are up at 20,000 feet in an airplane, you weigh slightly less than you do down on the ground.

We talk about how much we weigh in pounds in the US.  But pounds aren’t actually a measure of weight, they’re a measure of mass.  In order to get to a measure of weight, you take mass x 9.8 (gravitational acceleration) to get Newtons.  These units of measure may be a little bit over the head of a preschooler, but this is a little piece of info useful to anyone helping a kiddo in science class a little later.  From what I hear, mixing up mass and weight is one of the biggest mistakes kids make in early science classes.

Supplies Needed

You don’t need much for this experiment…  Any scale will do, but I really love these colorful spring scales {affiliate}. They make for mobile measuring fun.  The only other thing you need is stuff.  Stuff to weigh.

Spring Scales Left Brain Craft Brain

Exploring Weight

This one is as easy as walking around the house…  You’re only limited by what can be clipped onto a spring scale.  The weight of some items seemed to surprise her.  Her doll and her boot weighed the same but seemed like such different sizes to her that it took her a while to wrap her head around it.  It makes you realize why kids always trip in rain boots when you see how heavy one is!

Weighing Lalaloopsy Left Brain Craft Brain 2

I loved how even finding things to weigh was a problem solving exercise.  She really wanted to weigh her favorite Lalaloopsy doll {affiliate} (oh yes, we have that doll that pees in diapers…), but couldn’t quite get her hands through the hook. Then she realized that it had a fabric collar on that could be hooked onto the scale.

Scale Closeup Left Brain Craft Brain

In order to help reinforce some of this with real life experiences, she then went and weighed herself on the bathroom scale.  And today at the grocery store we weighed a LOT of produce.  Weighed combinations of produce and mac and cheese. Even weighed my wallet.  She put her hand on the scale and could feel the springiness which helped her connect it to these spring scales.

Grocery Scale Left Brain Craft Brain

Questions to Ask:

While your kiddo is exploring the house with the scales, here are a few questions to ask them to get them thinking…

  • Can you find something heavier or lighter than the thing you just weighed?
  • Which item surprised you with its weight?  Why?
  • Can you find two items that weigh the same?
  • How can you make an item lighter or heavier?

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Preschool Science Weight Left Brain Craft Brain FB

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