Gravity Works

After watering the seeds we started yesterday, Joe, Jake and I had a mini science lesson. We made whirlygigs and airplanes using straws, cardstock, tape, paper clips and office paper.

I found the ideas on a blog called Deceptively Educational.

I love this blog! All of the activities are fun and appealing to students of all ages, and mesh perfectly with the idea of learning through play.

The first fun activity was to build whirlygigs out of paper, tape and paper clips. The detailed directions can be found on the blog mentioned above.

Basically, you cut and fold a piece of cardstock or printer paper into the shape of a whirlygig…a paper replica of a sycamore seed.


The directions tell you to attach a small paper clip for weight. I only had the large paper clips, which fell off with every flight, so we used brads instead.

Then, we held them up high and dropped them.


It worked just like a sycamore seed falling from a tree! Joe was a little short so he stood on a stool and raced the whirlygigs. He spent a good 5-10 minutes doing this while Jake dusted sand off seashells.


When he was bored with it, we made the straw airplanes.

For these, we used a straw, cardstock and tape. We cut a 1″ x 5″ piece and a 1″ by 10″ piece, taped them into a circle and taped each circle on the ends of the straw.


We made two, thinking that Jake would want to fly them also…but he was more interested in stomping around pretending to be a monster. The little cutie.

Joe was much more excited about this one. We’ve made paper airplanes before, but this type of airplane was by far more successful.

It kept both of us busy for about 15 minutes. We raced them, tried throwing them from different heights and tried throwing them while running down the hall.


Eventually, Joe was tired of throwing it so he grabbed the bigger end and “drove” around the house making honking sounds and crashing into furniture.


I tried to explain what made these two paper creations fly and flutter–gravity, lift, thrust and drag–but I only made it through gravity before he lost all interest in the activity and went to play monsters with Jake.

Of course, they convinced me to play too. I was the “Mommy Monster”.



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