Light and Heavy
The positives, comparatives, and superlatives.
Refinement of the baric sense.
Visual (in the color of the wood)
3 1/2 - 4 years (After the child has been introduced to a number of Practical Life Exercises.)
Offer the child a blindfold, although it is optional.
- Three sets of six wooden tablets, each polished or varnished.
Each set is a different wood, color, and weight.
Light: 20 grams
Medium: 30 grams
Heavy: 40 grams
- A blindfold
Invite the child to come and work with you. Tell the child that before we begin working, we need to wash our hands and sensitize our fingertips. Both you and the child do so. Then bring the child over to the shelf and show him the first two boxes (the lightest and heaviest) with the baric tablets. Give the child the name of the material and then have him bring over one box at a time to the table. Have him place both boxes next to each other and in the upper middle of the table. Then have the child sit to your left.
- Take out two of each tablet and place them in two separate piles (based on their weight) in front of their respective boxes.
- Show the child how to hold one of the baric tablets on the tip of your fingers.
- Pick up the other tablet and hold it on your other fingertips.
- Close your eyes and feel the pressure of each.
- Tell the child, “Not only do they look different but they feel different too.”
- Have the child feel the pressure of the two tablets by placing them for him on his fingertips.
- Ask the child if they feel different.
- If the child says that they feel the same, come back to the Baric Tablets another day.
- If the child says they feel different, then continue with the presentation.
- Have the child feel two of the heavy tablets at the same time and two of the
light tablets to show the child that they feel the same.
- Take out all of the tablets and mix them up into two different but equal piles.
(Place them horizontally.)
- Tell the child that you will feel two tablets at a time, with your eyes closed,
and decide if they feel the same or different.
- Tell the child (by pointing to the heavier tablet) that you will be placing the
tablets that look like in one pile in front of you on the right (point to spot).
- Tell the child that the ones that feel “like this” (pointing to the lighter one),
you will put in a pile in front of you to the left (point to the spot).
- Close your eyes and hold in each hand the top tablet of each pile.
- Feel the pressure of each, change hands and again feel the pressure from each
- Place the heavier one where you said you would and the lighter one where you said you would. (These tablets should be place vertically to distinguish between the sorted and non-sorted piles.)
- Repeat to feel for next match.
- Repeat until both piles have been sorted out correctly into their respective piles for weight.
- Mix the tablets again and allow the child to work with the tablets as shown.