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Paper Parachutes

Paper Parachutes
Messiness: Low
Age Range: 3y - 9y
Estimated Time: <30 mins

Activity Designer

Shauna Wightman
58 Projects

It's a's a plane...wait--could it be? It's a flying kitty! And an airborne...penguin?!

My kids are fascinated with flight, so we decided to give their toys "wings" by creating parachutes using just napkins and strings. Talk about a fantastic way to teach kids about gravity and weight!

What You'll Need

How We Did It

Paper Parachutes

First, we got together our supplies. The kids had the most fun finding their "passenger" for the parachute.

Paper Parachutes

They unfolded their napkins to make large squares. My five-year-old liked sharing his decorating techniques with his three-year-old sis--but both kids designed their parachutes however they liked. 

Paper Parachutes

After the parachutes were decorated, they tied a string to each corner of the parachute. (I helped my young kids with this step.)

Paper Parachutes

Then, for each parachute, we tied all four strings together down at the bottom, leaving extra long ties at the ends.

Paper Parachutes

Next the kids tied their "passenger" to the strings using the ends. We discussed what parachute the kids thought would be the fastest and which one would be the slowest. They both made their guesses.

Paper Parachutes

Then we took the parachutes outside to test our creations! The parachute can either be dropped from a high point or thrown up high in the air. The kids loved watching their parachutes float (or race down) to the ground.

Paper Parachutes

We talked about the results and then the kids found other objects they could launch, such as feathers that gently floated to the ground and rocks that PLUMMETED downwards. Hmm--scientific discovery taking flight: What a beautiful thing!


science planes toys


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These are a great alternative to the dinky plastic ones!

posted by: Patty on 10.16.2012

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