March 5 is Parachute Day! Stars0 reviews (Do you like this day? Rate it!)

Parachute Day A parachute is a device used to slow the motion of an object through an atmosphere by creating drag. Depending on the situation, parachutes are used with a variety of loads, including people, food, equipment, space capsules, and bombs. The word "parachute" comes from the French prefix 'para' meaning 'to protect against' and 'chute' the French word for 'fall'. Leonardo Da Vinci sketched the first sophisticated parachute in 1485. Louis Lenormand invented the first modern parachute and made the first recorded public jump in 1783.

Learning about parachutes makes a fun science lesson. Read a book about gravity or watch a short clip about how a parachute works, then build a parachute! Kids will love dropping things from a balcony, down a staircase, or if it's nice outside, from the top of a slide or play structure!

Books & Videos | Make a Parachute |

Books & Videos

  Gravity Gravity by Melinda Lilly
A simple description of what gravity is and how it works. Jump up! -- Toy parachute -- Why does the parachute slow the toy's fall? -- Ball roller coaster -- To loop the loop -- The lowdown on gravity -- Glossary -- Take it further: kid coaster -- Think about it!
  How Does A Parachute Work? How Does A Parachute Work?
This short video clip describes how a parachute works.

Make a Parachute

Make a parachute, and then drop it from a balcony or down a staircase. If it's nice outside, try dropping it from the top of a slide or play structure. Young children will naturally learn laws of science just by watching the parachute, but you can introduce the concepts of gravity and air resistance, and especially older children. Try different experiments using heavier objects, dropping objects with and without the parachute, timing the parachute, and if you're looking for some egg-stra special fun (do you know where this is going?)....try an egg as cargo!
Make a Parachute Make a Parachute Make a Parachute Make a Parachute
What You'll Need:
  • Thick plastic bag
  • String
  • Scissors
  • Hole punch (optional)
  • Paper cup
  • Things to put in the cup as cargo!

How To Make:

1. Make the canopy - Cut about a 16" hexagon from a thick plastic bag. (Good time to introduce/talk about the hexagon shape!).
2. Make holes - Hole punch or cut holes in each of the 6 corners of the hexagon. Number the holes. (Note: Don't make the holes too close to the corners, or it might tear when flying the 'chute').
3. Build the holder - punch 6 holes around the top of a paper or plastic cup. Number each hole.
4. Attach the strings - cut 6 equal pieces of string (about 18"). Tie one end of the string to the canopy and one end to the cup. Line up the numbered holes (flip over the canopy if needed to make sure the numbers line up). Repeat for all 6 lines.
5. Try it out!

Reminder: Be sure not to let small children unattended with the parachute toy. Plastic bags can suffocate.

^ top