Last week's science activity from Sid the Science Kid at PBS Parents was all about estimation. The purpose of this activity was to learn about estimating numbers of objects and then checking the estimates by counting.
This is what we did:
- Give the child 20 pieces of something (marbles, crayons, acorns, etc.) and let them observe what '20' looks like. We used these foam sheets because Trevor had been playing with them that morning lining them up to make roads.
- Next give the child 10 pieces of that same something. Let them observe what '10' looks like and note that it is less than '20.'
- Then give the child another (unknown by the child) number of the item and have them estimate how many is there. Have the child count the items to see if they were close.
- Repeat as many time as you'd like.
Here's Trevor getting a good feel for what '20' looks like.
Now he's trying to estimate how many were in this pile. He kept trying to count to make his guess. Estimation was definitely a new concept for him!
Finally, counting to see how many were actually there (of course he had to line them up like a road =) I was really impressed at how good his estimations were! He never guessed anything silly, like 400. He mostly guessed '10' or '20' which I thought was good because he was likening it to the sizes of the piles I gave him to observe in the beginning.
I thought this was another simple, yet brain-stimulating early science activity. And I love that once again, there was really no prep work. Have you done anything like this with your child? I'd love to hear about any fun activities you have done with your kids!