Over the weekend while the kids were weighing their toys again (they have done this a few times and enjoy figuring out which combination of toys is heavier), I had a sudden thought what if we weighed some craft sticks and used that as an example of greater than and less than numbers for my youngest.
It started off really well and my youngest really enjoyed using the crocodiles from Twinkl (free) to help him write out the equations. But then he wanted to compare 10 and 12 – the difference in weight of the craft sticks was just not enough. So we switched to using our Learning Resources Base 10 set instead and he quickly saw that 12 was greater than 10
He found the Base 10 set very easy to use and he started creating a wide range of numbers in his buckets.
In fact the base 10 set worked so well that my youngest was soon comparing numbers in the hundreds – he never normally deals with numbers over 100.
And he also did a lot of number comparison to zero. It was a great visual representation as the bucket with zero was empty. He checked a variety of numbers against zero and then he proudly announced to me – “mom all the numbers are going to be bigger than zero.”
My oldest also got involved, she really enjoyed comparing the numbers in the hundreds and soon she was tempted to try our thousand block. The thousand block just fits into one of the buckets (at a slight angle) and seeing it compared to the 100 board was great. Both kids got really excited at the difference in the weight between 1000 and 100. I think it really helped my son to understand that 1000 is much bigger than 100.
And although the main idea of the activity was for my youngest to do a hands on activity around greater than and less than numbers he actually ended up doing lots of writing. I started off by writing out the first few equations that we worked out but he quickly informed he could do it and he took over the writing
He got so involved in the weighing that he did not realise how much writing he was doing or that he was writing “big” numbers.
The Learning Resources scale and the base 10 set were bought by us over a year ago and both have been well used. You can find get the Learning Resources scale from ImagiDo and the Base 10 set from Amazon (affiliate link).
And as I am often asked about the pens and pencils that we use. The pens in todays photos are the STABILO Trio Scribbi. They have a lovely triangular shape, perfect for younger kids (and my 7-year-old also loves them too).
You might also enjoy our post – Maths using snap cubes and scales