Make a Parachute Toy

What You Need:

  • String
  • Bandana or small piece of cloth
  • Button with four holes
  • Pipe cleaner, small stone, action figure, or other small objects

What You Do:

  1. Build the toy: Cut four equal pieces of string, about 18-24 inches in length. Thread each string through a separate hole in the button, then tie them together, leaving a few inches trailing at the bottom.
  2. Lay out your bandana or cloth and stretch the other ends of the strings, taping one string to each corner of the bandana. Voila! You've got a parachute.
  3. Make predictions: Ask your child what they think will happen when you drop the parachute. Will it matter if you drop it from a high height or a low one? Will it matter if you attach a stone or other object underneath the button? Will any of these things affect the speed the parachute falls or the path it takes? Have your child make predictions. Then take the chute out for some experimentation! Attach a figure weaved out of the pipe cleaner. Next, tie on something heavier. Drop the parachute from various heights and angles. What happens?

This is a great way for kids to explore and experiment, key elements of early science…and a lot of hands-on fun!

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