STEM activities are the key to my heart. It all started when I was doing my student teaching and I had to teach a unit on electricity. I had no idea how electricity works by the way, but I knew that I was going to include some awesome hands-on activities so that I could super impressed my supervisor. So, I did my research and sure enough I did do some awesome hands-on activities and then I completely fell in love with hands-on activities in science, technology, engineering, and math. My final student teaching experience completely changed who I am as a teacher.
So today with all that said we’re bringing in some more STEM activities and this activity will have your preschoolers focus on engineering and measuring the weight of a material. We will be creating a balance or a DIY scale to measure the weight of our animals.

Lil’ Explorers Focus Skills

Measurement

  • Describe and compare objects using general measurements such as heavy, light, big, small, short, tall, long, always, never

Engineering

  • Construct models to represent their imagination and objects in the world
  • Build using a variety of materials in both conventional and unconventional ways
  • Use tools with appropriate safety and purpose
  • Engage in problem solving activities

Science

  • Pose “what” and “why” questions about their surroundings
  • Make predictions and perform experiments

Required Materials

*Affiliate Link

Hanger

*Paper Cups

*Farm Animals

*Yarn

*Scissors

*Hole Punch

Step #1
Use your hole punch to punch two holes across from one another in the top of a paper cup.
Step #2
Thread a piece of yarn through the holes of one cup and tie the yarn shut.
Do this for both cups.
Step #3
Hang the cups from the sides of the hanger.
Step #4

Hang the hanger from a doorknob.

Step #5

Experiment with your Lil’:

  • Ask, “which animal do you think is heavier, the pig or the cow?”
  • Place the pig in one cup and the cow in the other cup
  • Note that the cup that hangs lower is heavier.

Continue this process by comparing various animals.

Teacher Tip

Some of our animals were not noticeably different in weight, so I changed my questioning to, “Can you make the right side heavier than the left,” and she would add 3 or 4 animals to the right side.

Also, allow your preschooler some free play with the DIY scale so that they can manipulate it. This is great problem solving!

Pro Parent Bundles

Love my lessons? Become a Pro member today and get access to bonus content!