Activities at Home


Back home from grocery shopping? Don't unload those groceries before your child has the chance to estimate the weight of each one!

What You Need:

  • 2 bags of groceries
  • Bathroom scale
  • Pencil and paper
  • Marker

What You and Your Child Will Do:

  1. Place the grocery bags on a table. (Make sure that neither bag is too heavy for your child to hold.) Tell the child to try lifting one of the bags off the table. Then ask him or her to estimate, or predict, the weight of the bag in pounds. Write down the estimate.
  2. Explain that the best way to weigh a thing on a bathroom scale is to first weigh yourself and then weigh yourself holding that thing. Finally, subtract the lesser weight from the greater one to find the weight of the thing.
    60 pounds 65 pounds ? pounds
  3. So, have your child get on the scale. Record his or her weight.
  4. Now, with the child still on the scale, put the bag into his or her arms. Again write down the reading on the scale.
  5. Have your child write and solve a subtraction problem in order to find the actual weight of the bag.

    paper with Estimate ten pounds: sixty-five minus sixty equals five; actual weight is five pounds

  6. Ask, “How good was your estimate?” “How close is the actual weight to the estimated weight?”
  7. Repeat the process by having the child first estimate the weight of the next bag and then weigh himself or herself twice to figure out the actual weight of that bag. Talk about whether this estimate is closer to the actual weight than the first one was.