This activity is perfect for talking about balance, counter balance, and center of gravity with your kids. It takes only a few minutes and a handful of supplies.
What You Need
1 hex nut (ours was 3/8 inch)
4 wooden craft sticks
Wire (ours was 18 gauge copper wire)
How to Build It
Using a hot glue gun, glue the four craft sticks in the configuration of a stick figure.
Cut a length of wire approximately 12-15 inches long. Wrap one end around the leg of your stick figure. Wrap the other end of the wire around the hex nut.
Shape the wire so it's curved and looks like the letter C.
If he's tipping forward or backwards, adjust the curve of the wire and reposition him.
This quick craft elicited loads of oohs and aahs at my house. I think the highlight was when both of my sons tried to find various places to set the balancing man - ranging from the edge of the kitchen table to the top of my husband's head (yes, it actually DID balance there too!).
This great activity came from Curt Gabrielson's book Stomp Rockets, Catapults, and Kaleidoscopes: 30+ Amazing Science Projects You Can Build for Less than $1. I highly recommend it!