Compare the relative size and weight of various objects.
In mathematics this month, we are comparing the size and weight of various objects by utilizing the many tools that we have at our disposal in our classrooms. Our teachers rotate their materials frequently, and make sure there are props for all domains of learning in every center. For example, mathematics tools can be found in home living (with measuring cups and measuring spoons), blocks (with scales), manipulatives center (with counting bears and pattern cards), as well as other centers! As children move from center to center, the tools give the opportunity for an immersed learning experience, as well as the teachers asking open-ended questions which will enhance and expand children’s knowledge.
- Two-year-olds—Adding measuring cups, spoons, and other pouring utensils to sand or water in sensory play will help your child understand concepts such as “full” and “empty”. An explanation of measurement, while playing with your child, will make the experience fun and interactive for them! Allow your child to help you pour liquid from a tall, skinny container, to a short, wide container. Discuss with your child why one container looks more full than the other, despite the same amount of liquid being poured in. (For ease of clean-up, this is a great bath time activity!)
- Three-year-olds—Experimenting with scales is one way that a three-year-old can understand the volume and weight of objects. Why does a large foam block weigh less than a small wood block? What will happen to these objects if we place them in water? These open-ended questions will provoke your child’s critical thinking skills. These fun, math/science activities will be enjoyed by all! Don’t be afraid to get a little messy, lay down on the sidewalk outside your house and allow your child to draw your outline. Later, you can measure with a measuring tape and compare the difference of your height. While outside, explore what happens to liquid when it’s left in a cup in the sun all day. Where did the liquid go? What is evaporation? More open-ended questions to provoke those critical thinking skills.
- Four-/Five-year-olds—Popcorn is yummy, and great for this experiment as well! Fill a jar with 30 popcorn seeds and fill a second jar with 30 pieces of popped popcorn. Why does the popped corn take up more space? What is heavier, the seeds or the popped corn? Let’s weigh it! Activities such as this will promote those critical thinking skills, as well as an understanding of mass and volume. Create a scavenger hunt for things that your child can compare on the scale. This activity will give your child an understanding of mass and volume.
Skills Supported: critical thinking skills, sensory exploration, science and mathematics skills.