Balancing Act

Teacher and toddler learning how to balance buckets at day care

This activity promotes development and learning by encouraging children to investigate numbers and balance. Children can practice counting objects while learning the concepts of some, more,and too many.

Materials Needed:

  • Clothes hanger
  • Two strong paper or plastic cups
  • Yarn, twine, or sturdy string
  • Small objects of varying weights, e.g. crayons, toy cars, small blocks, etc.

Participants: This activity is intended for adult/child interaction.


  1. Create holes on either side of the paper cups. Attach two equal lengths of yarn onto the cups to create little buckets.
  2. Hang one on each side of the hanger and place the hanger on a cabinet knob, door knob, or hook that is low enough for your child to reach.
  3. Ask your child to place objects in one cup.
  4. Now add different objects to the other cup. Ask: which cup is heavier? How many crayons do you need to add to make it balance one block? How many is too many?
Bright Horizons
About the Author
Bright Horizons
Bright Horizons
In 1986, our founders saw that child care was an enormous obstacle for working parents. On-site centers became one way we responded to help employees – and organizations -- work better. Today we offer child care, elder care, and help for education and careers -- tools used by more than 1,000 of the world’s top employers and that power many of the world's best brands
Teacher and toddler learning how to balance buckets at day care