Flying is always a fascinating subject for young children. The idea of being able to fly is a notion many of us entertained while we were younger. Though age brings us the wisdom of knowing that we can only take flight with the help of a plane or glider or balloon, it doesn’t lessen the magic involved with the subject of flying. There are several fun hands on science experiments that involve aerodynamics and flight. This one is really simple, and it explains how hot air balloons are able to fly. Do this with your child on a cool, almost windless evening, and watch them have a really fun time.
Take some Japanese paper and spray it with some fireproofing liquid made specially for paper. Be sure that you don’t over soak the paper, and try not to spray the corners. Dry the sheets of paper on the ground or wherever they won’t be destroyed. This will serve as the outside of your lantern.
Next, take some pieces of ply wood or bamboo (note that there are many fun hands on science experiments that can be done with wood) and cut it into thirty strips of about one centimeter wide. These strips will serve as the frame of your paper lantern. Fashion these strips into a square or rectangular cube. Place two strips in an “X” shape on five sides of the cube. On the sixth side, attach four strips going down diagonally, and meet at a center that is about five inches down from the base of the lantern. It will look like an upside down pyramid. Glue a candle to where the strips meet.
Wrap the paper around the lantern frame, securing it well, but leaving an opening for the side that connects to the candle. On a windless night, light your candle and hold the lantern by its frame. After a few minutes, the lantern will begin to rise up and into the air. This is because this fun hands on science experiment uses the knowledge that hot air rises. As the hot air inside the lantern builds up, it slowly takes the light weight lantern with it, making it fly! Explain this to your child, and tell him that this fun hands on science experiment demonstrates one of the principles of flight! They will surely be amazed!
There are many other fun hands on science experiments you can do with your child to help them cultivate a genuine interest in the world of science. Based on their interests, choose science topics that you know will fascinate them and encourage them to do more projects. Doing fun hands on science experiments with your kids is also a great way for you to spend time with them while encouraging their learning.