I had originally intended to make mobiles with the coat hangers, but when I started gathering supplies, I thought “What else can the ubiquitous white hanger become?” I dug around in our recycling bin, found some small containers. When we added a bit of yarn and paper clips and, voila! We had a simple scale! This is an easy project for younger children to enjoy. Gather a bunch of small, light objects and let your little ones weigh away!
Wire coat hanger
2 small plastic containers (of similar size & weight)
Yarn, string or ribbon; scissors
A chopstick or pencil
1 tack and 2 paper clips
Ages: Children 3+ can make this on their own. Younger children will need help but once it’s made, they can use it on their own.
Time: 5-10 minutes to make
For our scale baskets, we used individual cereal containers, but you can use anything from your recycling bin. Use the tack to make a small hole at each corner. Now, let your child measure out the yarn by holding it finger-tip to should. Cut 4 pieces this long (about 18-20 inches). Cut each piece in half so that you have 8 pieces of equal length. Thread a piece of yarn through each hole and tie to secure. Tie the pieces of yarn together at the top so that the basket hangs evenly. Push a paper clip up through the knot and hang it from one end of the coat hanger. Do the same with the other basket. A square of paper or tape can be used to keep the baskets from sliding. Now tape a chopstick or pencil to the edge of a table and hang your scale!
Have on hand for next Friday’s project:
White paper, pencil and eraser – our young designers will show how to draw funky, quirky characters, step-by-step.
Curious Jane, founded by contributor Samantha Razook Murphy, offers project-based after-school programs and summer camps, revolving around creativity in the arts and sciences.