We’ve had lots of fun doing balance and measurement activities with this Buggy Balance set from Learning Resources, and it’s perfectly themed for Autumn with all the little leaves! There are lots of games you can try to help learn maths skills in a fun way : balance, weight, measurement, patterns, classifying and counting and more.
- 16 small caterpillars
- 8 large caterpillars
- 24 small leaves
- 12 large leaves
The set is recommended for 5+ but all my boys enjoyed working with it. Mr Z (6) was more deliberate in his experimentation but the younger boys also got lots of benefit out of their play with these materials.
During free play with these manipulatives, the children can explore colour, size, length, height and width – before they even place them onto the balance! They then enjoyed loading them on to see which side was heavier and to try and get the scales to balance on both sides.
Before weighing the critters and leaves on the balance, we held them in our hands to feel and sense which ones we thought would be heavier. You can try this with different combinations to make it easier for little ones – eg a few big leaves in one hand, and one small leaf in the other, or just one big and one small leaf. You could do this with your eyes closed for extra fun, and so that you are relying only on your sense of the weight not by looking at the size! That’s a great non messy sensory play activity.
There is a guide included with lots of ideas to help you extend the play with this set and maximise the learning opportunities.
The boys were happy to work together and explore this activity. Although it’s a fairly simple idea, it kept them engaged for a long while and they were eager to keep returning to the activity. Mr Z wanted to make a championship to find the heaviest things, so we found there was plenty of room for that type of creativity whilst using this set.
The balance will work with any other toys, so you can bring those in and extend the play and experimentation that way – weighing toy cars or small figurines to see which is heavier. The small leaves and caterpillars will also be useful for counting and matching games or as an addition to Autumn or woodland themed sensory bins so it is a pretty versatile set.
The Buggy Balance set is available from Learning Resources for 17.95 and it’s ideal for home or the classroom. I am a big fan of Learning Resource products, and this one definitely didn’t disappoint. It’s a lovely product and offers so much learning and play potential for children.