This inexpensive, hand-crafted, outdoor Balance Scale is such a simple scientific instrument that it needs no explanation, and kids will immediately know what to do with it!
Hang something on one end, and the scale tips. Hang something on the other end, and it either balances to the center mark or it doesn’t, so it’s a cause and effect learning moment without you saying or doing anything.
What better way for the children to learn about weights and measures? Or about the different weight of materials, such as sand, water,\woodchips, pebbles, and snow?
Or about fulcrum points (the pivot point) and leverage.
if you have equal weights on both sides of the fulcrum, and move one closer, it appears to become “lighter” and the other weight appears to be “heavier.” This is leverage at work! The farther you are from the fulcrum, the lighter the weight has to be to balance anything on the other end!
How would you go about trying to lift a big boulder with a long, strong stick? You’d use leverage. You’d shove one end of the stick under the boulder, then put a piece of wood under the stick right near the boulder (that would be the fulcrum or pivot point), and then you’d get way out on the other end of the stick and push down -- and the boulder goes up!
The longer the stick, the less you have to push down to lift the boulder, so even a young child could “lift” a boulder if the lever arm (stick) were long enough, and the fulcrum point (pivot point) were close enough to the boulder.
Amazing, really, but this is the kind of thing the kids will learn when they play around with this Balance Scale. It’s great outdoor learning, science and math outdoors. Perfect!
We don’t sell it with buckets, but we’re pretty sure you already have lots of them with handles. Or, the kids could make slings to hang on the arms pf the Balance Scale to put things in using old rags.
This scale is made so that there are no pinch or shear points. The simple “stop” on the back of the balance beam which prevents the lever arm from turning 360º, is protected from fingers getting into it. :)
Easy installation instructions to mount it into the ground, or if you want it to be free standing, we can make it portable. Just let us know!
Note: the very description of a balance scale means that it really is a lever working around a single point (the fulcrum). If a child uses their body weight to push down hard, or if they try to hang on one end, they can damage the scale.
If they do any damage, it’s easily repaired, but keep in mind that all scales are like this, that’s the idea behind them, so you have to teach children to be respectful of the power of the lever!! :))