Build your own Unstable Table with everyday materials! In this activity, you're invited to tinker with objects on a platform to figure out how to balance them in ways that don't always look like they should be possible. This activity supports investigations of balance and stability and can be a great warmup activity before diving into more complex balancing sculptures.
Use the hashtag #ExploringBalance to share your ideas and builds with us!
☐ Platform: find something that can be used as the surface for your unstable table, like a piece of cardboard, a game board, a book, or a cutting board.
☐ Base: Our favorite way to construct a base is to place a ball into a cup, yogurt container, or box to keep it steady. You can also try standing up a book or using the back of a chair.
☐ Objects to explore: Collect objects of different weights to explore like tissue boxes, toilet paper rolls, toys, and kitchen utensils. Tip: we prefer using objects that won't break even if they fall.
Use a Ball as a Base
Try placing a ball inside of a cup, on top of a toilet paper tube, on a spool of yarn or even on top of an upside-down saucer to keep it steady!
Tip: Construct a taller base to add some drama to your seesaw.
Set the stage for risk-taking
We try to use materials that won't break or make a big mess even if they fall over... or set up the space so that we're ready for crashes!
Find materials to compare that are very different sizes, weights, and shapes. Even if you start by using the same object on each side of your seesaw, try to take the exploration further by building something that isn't symmetrical.