# Stellaluna Book Activity: Balance Bat

Learn about the center of gravity with this Stellaluna book activity and see if you can make Stellaluna into a balance bat!

I don’t know about you, but my kids are always trying to balance things on their head, on each other, on a shelf, and everywhere else.

It was about time for them to learn the science behind balancing objects and read one of our favorite books, Stellaluna.

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Before this balancing bat activity, make sure to read Stellaluna by Janell Cannon

After reading the book, start exploring gravity and find the center of mass (also called the center of gravity) in some common objects that have uniform or almost uniform shape like a pencil, ruler, or a book.

## Why STEAM Activities?

STEAM is the abbreviation for Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math.

STEAM, like STEM, is an integrated approach to learning that encourages learners to make connections between the concepts they are learning and how they apply them to real-world problems.

STEAM helps students ask questions, problem solve, think creatively, and produce innovative solutions. Many schools have adopted STEAM learning activities into their curriculum, but it’s never too early to start building critical thinking skills.

We love to learn through play at our house and have a blast doing activities for toddlers all the way to tweens!

## Key Center of Mass Terms

• Center of Gravity – the point where the mass of an object is concentrated
• Gravity – the force that pulls all objects downward on Earth

## Stellaluna Book Activity: Make a Balance Bat

Wrap a pipe cleaner around a craft stick and attach one penny to each end as shown in the pictures.

Move the ends of your pipe cleaners around and see how the center of gravity changes as you move them. The lower the pennies, the lower your center of gravity will be.

Print out your bat template on card stock or cut it out and attach it to a piece of cardboard. With the cardboard, you’ll find that you can balance it fairly easily without any added weight.

You can also use paper and tape a craft stick underneath to make your bat. We investigated the center of gravity on our bat without any weight by holding it in our hands and using a post that we made from clothespins.

Then, we got some beads and some pennies and decided to work on shifting the center of gravity of our balance bat.

The girls thought it was so much fun that they decided to try their balance bats in some pretty silly places!

## The Science Behind Your Balance Bat

The center of gravity or the center of mass is the point where the mass of an object is concentrated. If you support an object at its center of mass, it will balance or be in a state of equilibrium.

A great way to learn about the human body’s center of gravity is to put an object on the floor about 30cm from a wall. Stand with your back and heels against the wall and try to pick up the object on the floor. Can you do it?

Most people’s bottom keeps their center of mass over their feet (no one in my house can do this with our athletic leg builds!) and when you bend over, your bottom can’t counterbalance you.

## Want to connect this gravity activity with other STEAM buckets? Check out these extensions!

Technology – Use a robot like Gyrobot that relies on its center of gravity on two linear wheels that can move along a tightrope to help make this physical law more tangible!

Engineering – Build your own post like we did! We used two different types of clothespins to create a stable post for our balance bat to perch on!

Art – Grab some pipe cleaners and make a balance mobile by hanging multiple objects from your hanger or pipe cleaners. Can you make each row balance?

Math – Fold a paper in half and draw half a bat with the bend in the paper as the center of your bat. Talk about symmetry. When an object like a ruler or a pencil is balanced, the center of gravity is in the middle because of the uniform shape of the object.

We love incorporating books into our activities. Here are some great books about engineering to read with your activity!

## 31 Days of Low-Prep STEAM Activities for Kids

This activity is part of our 31 Days of Low-Prep STEAM Activities for Kids. Every activity focuses on each of the buckets of STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, & Math) although these integrated projects fit in more than one bucket.

You and your kiddos are going to love all of the activities that we have in store! Visit the 31 Days of Low-Prep STEAM Activity hub and pin it, so you can come back and visit it daily!

## Book STEAM Activities

Find more STEAM activities that are paired with books!

## Meet Toni, the Maker Mom behind Our Family Code

Hey there, I’m Toni! I’m a software engineer and Maker Mom that finds my joy in unleashing my children’s curiosity by exploring STEAM concepts with my fantastic five!

When I’m not chasing toddlers or raising tweens, you can find me tearing things up and putting them back together over here at Our Family Code.

I am the owner and content creator of multiple educational websites designed to increase access to STEAM & STEM education with a focus on teaching computer science and coding to kids of all ages!

You can also find out more about me by visiting ToniGardner.com!

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teachworkoutlove

Monday 22nd of October 2018

How cool are are these ?! I love this book!

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