Balance & Slopes

Balance & Slopes

Last week I observed that balance & building played a key part in the children’s natural play & thought I would expand on this a little & also introduce ‘slopes’ as a further element for them to explore. We’ve experienced a number of activities…


 Stone Play

There is a basket of stones permanently available in the small world area & sometimes the children choose to bring them out to play with. I love how these children have naturally chosen to balance & pattern-make with them.

Stone Play from Rachel (",)

Tins were added to the stones (independent child-choice) & this is what happened…

Balancing tins and bricks from Rachel (",)


Exploring a Variety of Balances & Scales

Exploring balance and mass from Rachel (",)


Counting Towers

Counting towers from Rachel (",)


Balancing in Dough

They loved this, but the marbles we had to be careful with the rolling marbles!

Play dough, golf tees and marbles from Rachel (",)


Balancing at the Finger Gym

I was really interested to see how they would approach this…

Balancing at the Finger Gym from Rachel (",)

Balancing at the Finger Gym from Rachel (",)


Balancing & Building with Bricks

… coloured wooden bricks…

Simple building from Rachel (",)

… real bricks…

Building with real bricks from Rachel (",)

… mirror & rainbow blocks…

Mirror and Rainbow Bricks from Rachel (",)

… wooden bricks…

Balancing bricks from Rachel (",)

Balancing bricks from Rachel (",)


Balancing Small Bricks

(Wooden & real.)

Building with small bricks from Rachel (",)


Shaving Foam & Bricks

We had a go at using shaving foam as though it were cement. I think that it would have been better if we’d used foam bricks (if we had any), as the wooden ones were a little slippery! This is what happened when an adult was working with the children…Bricks and shaving foam from Rachel (",)

… & this is what happened when the adult wasn’t there… 😉

Bricks and shaving foam from Rachel (",)


Balancing the Train Track

It didn’t stay up for long – we need more bricks!

Balancing the train track from Rachel (",)


Drippy Paint

I just watered down ordinary poster paint for this.

Drippy paint from Rachel (",)


Cars on a Ramp

… dipped in paint.

Cars in paint, on a ramp - from Rachel (",)


Cars & Tubes

– in this case, clear ‘curtain blind’ boxes & cardboard tubes. The blind boxes were particularly popular as they loved being able to see the cars.

Cars down 'slopes' from Rachel (",)


Balancing on the Lightbox

Balancing in the lightbox from Rachel (",)

… and the OHP…

Balancing on the OHP from Rachel (",)


Exploring Slopes Outdoors

… with the clear blind boxes…

Exploring slopes with clear tubes from Rachel (",)

… with water & guttering…

Exploring slopes with guttering and water from Rachel (",)

… with planks of wood…

Balancing outdoors from Rachel 9',0


Balancing Indoors & Outdoors

‘Balancing Act’ is a fab book & we read this before exploring balances ourselves…

Balancing indoors and out - from Rachel (",)


Spray Painting Outdoors

Spray painting outdoors from Rachel (",)



We had great fun with the school ramp & its different surfaces, but I forgot to take photos! :-/

Ramp exploration from Rachel (",)


Balancing Tins

Balancing tins from Rachel (",)



The children’s request… sometimes superheroes do a bit of balancing too… 😉

Superheroes from Rachel (",)


Thanks for reading!

Don’t forget that you can also find me on Facebook,  Twitter &  Pinterest.  I’d love you to come & say hello! 🙂 

Balancing from Rachel (",)

– Rachel (“,)


  1. Once again, outstanding opportunities for learning! Questions–are your tins full? I mean, are they just, like, canned veggies that you took the labels off of or are they empty? I would like to do some heavier work with my kids, since a couple show sensory seeking tendencies, and bricks and tins might be welcomed. Also, how do you handle wet clothing (from outdoor water play?) And, I don’t have a sink in the room–do you? I feel it limits (somewhat) our adventurous art!

    • Hello again, Chris (“,)
      My tins are empty (ring pull tins are not sharp with the lid removed. You can also buy tin openers which don’t leave sharp edges), but I do know some settings use full tins because they want the children to experience the weight.
      Wet clothing is a bit of a nightmare, isn’t it?! All our children have a set of spare clothes on their pegs so that if they get wet or have an accident, they can easily get changed. Ideally, I’d like all the children to have a set of waterproofs in school, but we don’t have the space to store or dry them 🙁
      At the moment, my classroom is the only class in school that has a sink in it, but in our new building, all the classes will have one.
      Have a lovely weekend! (“,)

  2. Hi Rachel, What are you using to hold up the guttering outside? They are blue, and almost look like tomato cages from afar. They look very handy for making ramps and holding tubes. I just found your blog this year, my co-workers and I are loving all your ideas! Thank you!
    Ramona, Vancouver Island, B.C. Canada


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