As the name suggests, this sturdy balance scale uses buckets instead of pans. Measures both solids and liquids, and the transparent buckets are removable for easy cleaning. Colorful scale is made of durable plastic, and thereís even a storage drawer in the base. Less expensive than the pan balance, with more features. The deep buckets hold approximately 300 ml, with markings every 50 ml, for measuring. Also features sliding compensators.
This was an excellent purchase! So easy to use my 3-yr-old enjoys it. Weight comparisions are simple, easy and we have gram cubes on hand to find specific weights if needed. Liquids are no problem due to the removable buckets. We use it for math and science. It should be practical for many years (my children are early elementary age). The only problem we have encountered is that the drawer opens too easily, spilling cubes everywhere. The scale stores nicely in the original box. My children are primarily hands-on learners but I am able to integrate several concepts at once with ease by using this simple scale and common household items. The brightly colored yellow triangle in the middle makes it easy to determine if it is balanced correctly or not.
We purchased this item (same item number, description, price) from Rainbow Resource Center last year, and it is slightly different than the one pictured. It is actually Learning Resources' Primary Bucket Balance. Instead of being loose, our drawer is a little tight and gets stuck! (To remedy a loose drawer, try taping a slip of card-stock on its underside.) I like how the buckets have pouring spouts, and how you can put the lids on for flat surfaces. The rims of each bucket are about 4" square, and buckets are marked only with ml measurements, each comfortably holding 400ml or 2 cups (2.5 cups to the very rim). My young children enjoy playing/experimenting with this scale, and we incorporate many casual lessons with it; it has held up wonderfully and we expect to have many more years of use from it.
The Balance Scale was one of the first math manipulatives I purchased for our homeschool, and it was a good buy. We use the Balance Scale at our house for both play and learning. Itís sturdy enough to withstand either use, and itís inexpensive enough that I donít have to worry about my toddler experimenting with it. It is made of brightly colored plastic. One removable, see-through bucket sits on each end of the balanceís arms. The buckets are of a generous size and shape so children can find things around the house to weigh. They can even hold liquid! My 6-year-old daughter has fun comparing the mass of her school supplies (a bottle of glue, a pair of scissors) to a number of Unifix cubes. Soon Iíll start demonstrating to my preschooler that five marbles in one bucket have the same mass as five marbles in the other bucket, but that six marbles tip the scale. When using the Balance Scale, an arrow points to the center so kids can easily see whether or not theyíve achieved a balance. Small sliding arrows make it easy for the parent to calibrate if needed: Just slide them until the arms balance. A nice feature is that the Balance Scale has a drawer in the front for storage. We keep a couple of handfuls of marbles or cubes in the drawer, then weíre always ready to play (and learn!). We keep it put away in the box, and itís ready to go when we pull it out, no assembly.
We love this bucket balance! We use it with our "math frogs" (funtastic frogs) and it works perfectly... 4 baby frogs equals 1 parent frog, and the mid-sized "teenagers" are exactly half the weight of the parents. (I checked on my kitchen scale and the frogs weigh 3, 6 and 12 grams) Beyond the frogs, though, the kids can use this sturdy scale for just about anything they find around the house: small toys, coins, split peas (for "lentil" math/science activities). We haven't tried it for liquids yet, but I plan to once the weather warms up. Its original box makes for excellent storage - just pull it out and it's ready to go. This scale is a great value, and sturdy enough to stand up to my 2-year-old's loving attention but fun and fascinating for just about every age group. Ostensibly bought for our 5-year-old kindergartner, this balance also seems to suck in our 14- and 15-year-olds to play with it. Note: a previous customer mentioned lids for the buckets, but the scale we received is exactly the same as the one pictured on this site, and there are no lids. The drawer doesn't stick either.