Fun for Kids: Toy Parachute (Dada guest post)

One of the things I really enjoyed when I was a little was building parachutes. When we were in Las Vegas visiting my mom, I thought it would be a fun project to do with the kids. My mom got us a thin plastic garbage bag. It was square, so we cut it in half to get two toy parachute sails.

Emma prepares to build a parachute

As Emma is demonstrating below (in a rather elaborate pose), we tied thread to each of the four corners of the sail.

Tying string onto the parachute

We were in need of a payload. At first we tried a few paperclips, but they weren’t heavy enough. We decided to use a little doll that I made with my grandmother when I was four years old. I have a crafty grandmother, and I enjoyed quilting, sewing, and crocheting with her when I was little. My mom still has many of my little projects saved in her closet. Anyway, my doll enjoyed a very graceful ride down from the second story, as you can see below. In hindsight, it would have been cooler if we made him a little parachute pack with straps instead of safety-pinning the thread to his head.

The parachute carrying a small doll Mike made as a 4yo

Emma enjoyed catching the parachute as it floated down.

Emma catches the parachute

When we do this activity again, we’ll try timing how long it takes the parachute to float down. We can try different payloads and try to guess the effect on the float time. When the kids get a little older, we’ll try building some model rockets with a parachute embedded.

learning laboratory at mama smiles

Comments

    • maryanne says

      I was amazed at how well it worked! Mike took the photos, as well as writing the post. He’s a great photographer, and his mom’s house has an entire wall of windows that provide gorgeous lighting for indoor photos!

  1. says

    It’s neat that you also had a good launching pad for your parachute :) You could also try to experiment with different materials in the future. I am not surprised that craftiness and creativity of your children comes from both sides of the family :)

  2. says

    This brings back memories. I used to make parachutes with my brothers when I was a kid, and we would fly them off the veranda at home.

  3. says

    I love this post. The parachute brought to my mind memories of shooting fireworks with my dad when I was a child. Do you remember those fireworks that let out the parachutes? They looked just like Emma’s!

  4. Mike says

    I did this with my 3rd graders as a science project and we discussed air resistance and terminal velocity. They loved it!!

Trackbacks

Thanks for taking the time to comment!