This afternoon, I tipped out the plastic 2.5cm tiles and the larger wooden tiles and got out the plastic trays. I started with the wooden tiles because I wanted to design a pattern to make for a “colour the pattern” task and my daughter played with the plastic tiles. She likes to arrange images in each of the differently sized Numicon trays and then stack the trays and ask me to “open the surprise” Today was no different and once I had unstacked the pile and looked, I saw a nice little pattern. She explained that she did the little tray first and then added a row each time she used a bigger tray.
After a while, she pulled out the scales that we’d discovered earlier in the day (we’d done some tidying of her toys and found the scales) She played with these for a while, adding tiles in each side and watching them tip one way or balance. After she had dumped out both buckets, I put 10 large wooden tiles into one of the buckets. I asked her how many plastic tiles would weigh the same. I gave her the other bucket and she started to fill it. She counted up in twos and said; “I think it’s 20,” before replacing the bucket on the other end of the weighing scale. The balance tipped in the wooden blocks favour, so she said she would add more plastic tiles in. She counted out 30 more and realised it was 50. I pulled out all the wooden tiles, except for one and asked her to take how many tiles she thought would make it balance. She left the bucket on the scale and eventually she was satisfied the two buckets were equal when she had just 5 plastic tiles left. I threw in one more tile and she said; “ah that’s easy! Its 5 more plastic tiles” so I threw in another and she did the same. She then said; “lets do more” she then threw in wooden tiles so there was a total of 25 tiles in. She said; “I can work this out” she counted on her fingers in 5’s and stopped at 125. She then threw 125 plastic tiles into the opposing bucket but it tipped ever so slightly to the plastic tiles. She recounted and it was the correct amount so we discussed the fact that one wooden tile might be a little less than 5 tiles.