This weight measuring activity can be a fun preschool center at Christmas time or anytime of the year. In this activity, children weigh gift boxes on a balance scale to see which weigh the most, least, or same.
To set up this activity, you will need:
- Balance scale
- Small gift boxes, such as cardboard jewelry boxes
- Wrapping paper
Small cardboard jewelry boxes, such as the ones in my photos here, come from department stores. When you buy jewelry (the inexpensive kind), they often give you these little boxes. They can also be purchased at places like Michaels, but I’m all for free, so be sure to ask parents, grandparents, and friends to save these for you.
The marbles are used for weighting the boxes. Hide one marble inside one box, 3 marbles inside the next box, 6 marbles inside the next, etc. If marbles are not available, you might try other items to weight the boxes, such as quarters.
Once you have the marbles in your boxes, wrap each box in Christmas wrapping paper. Use the same wrapping paper print, so that all of the boxes look the same. If you decide to do this activity during a different season of the year, you could use birthday wrapping paper or a solid color paper.
Which Box Weighs More?
To introduce the activity to children, show them how to hold a box in their hand to feel the weight. They can hold a box in each hand and see if they can feel which box is heavier. Then, show them how to place a box in each side of the balance scale to see which box weighs the most.
Match Boxes that Weigh the Same
For this next weighing activity, prepare a set of boxes with matching amounts of marbles so children can find the boxes that weigh the same.
Wrap one set of boxes (with 1 marble, 3 marbles, 6 marbles, etc.) in one kind of paper, and wrap the matching set of boxes in another kind of paper.
Children will match the boxes with red paper to the boxes with green paper by weighing them in the balance scale to find which ones weigh the same.
What Weighs the Same as the Box?
Here’s another spin on this activity. Show children how they can find objects around the classroom that might weigh the same as one of the gift boxes. For example, they could weigh a pair of scissors, glue bottle, glue stick, or wood block against the gift boxes to see if the classroom object weighs the same as one of the gift boxes. Or even add two gift boxes to see if your object is heavier.
For more pre-k measuring ideas, check out the Size & Measuring page.