~I received a Buggy Balance Measurement Activity Set from Learning Resources for review. Opinions and stories are my own.~
One of the most important things for children’s development is conceptual thinking. This means that children learn to understand a problem or situation by identifying connections and then using their own reasoning to solve the problem. In other words, to think outside the box. This can be a bit more difficult for children with ASD; not because they have difficulty seeing outside the box, but because it also means that they must communicate what they see.
My son tends to have difficulty with any question that uses abstraction, but there are many fun ways we help boost his conceptual problem solving skills, one of them is by using a cute little measuring tool from Learning Resources!
The Buggy Balance Measurement Activity Set from Learning Resources helps children to compare and contrast different weights and measures. Using adorable little bugs and leaves, they can add and subtract to figure out which objects are heavier/lighter, taller/smaller and much more.
When helping my son out with his conceptual thinking we ask him which different weights he believes will be heavier or lighter, or what would happen if he added different bugs and leaves to the balance board. This way he has to think it out before having to do it and after he’s formed a hypothesis he can then use the pieces to see if his answer was correct.
The balance board is very simple to put together and comes with 24 caterpillars in two sizes and two weights (8 large, 16 small), 36 leaves in two sizes and two weights (12 large, 24 small), and an Activity Guide to get you started! You can also calibrate the balance with simple compensater clips on each side.
Judah loves playing with the Buggy Balance. The bugs are smiling cute little things and it’s fun to find what works and what doesn’t. He’s also learned that it can double up into a catapult, but even then you can measure the distance the bugs jump!
If you are looking for new fun ways to help your kids learn through play and imagination, make sure to check out the other products at Learning Resources! You can also find more information about conceptual (or critical) thinking by reading Critical Thinking: Going Deeper, Aiming Higher.