Sunday, August 26, 2012

Plastic Bag Parachutes

Psst, wanna keep your kids busy giggling and running up and down the stairs for an hour?  Well have I got the DIY kiddie craft for you.  I have to proudly say that I had nothing to do with this project. They crafted and designed their parachutes all by themselves, and by the time I came around the corner giggling and dropping had already ensued.  This is why it is key to have a little bin of fun crafts supplies always on hand that they can get to (pipe cleaners, Popsicle craft sticks, crayons, yarn, cotton balls, googly eyeballs, etc) where they can create something fun when the mood strikes them.  We did try this project with my oldest a few years back with a much trickier version of a parachute, but she remembered on her own and taught her little sisters in the process (chip off the old block, I tell you - this crafty mommy couldn't be any prouder)  Behold, the recycled plastic bag parachute:

My oldest proudly displaying her parachute
There are only a few things you need for this project.  A recycled plastic bag, some colorful pipe cleaners, and a toy of the child's choosing.  Now if you Google there are tons of very complicated plastic bag parachutes out there, cutting them into octagons, using straws and making support beams - but this one is easy and the kids can totally do it themselves.  Get your plastic bag and find your favorite color of pipe cleaners and secure one part of the pipe cleaner to the bag handles.

Be sure to leave enough pipe cleaner at the end to attach to your toy
 
Now to attach your toy.  It has to be something pretty light, but other than that the kids can pick what they want

This little doll worked nicely, the arms helped keep the pipe cleaner from slipping
 
My middle child is so hilarious, when I saw her parachute up close, this is what I found:

A precariously balanced horse is ready for flying lessons
Why not take your mini horses for a spin?  Secretly I wanted to maybe secure this better, maybe one pipe cleaner around each set of legs, but hey she was already having a blast so I let it go.  Next find the highest spot in your house to prepare for launch. For us it was the stairs, but you could find a porch railing outside, or the top of your big toy in the back yard

Houston, we are ready for launch sequence...
Then let um fly!

They really do float down!
 
Be advised, your cats might look at you funny when you play this game:

Hemi wonders, what the heck are these small humans up too??
 A few action shots:

Floating                                                           Soaring                                            Catching Air
 
Besides filling your house with giggles, the best part is that they ran up and down the stairs for almost an hour playing with these things!  So secretly it can be an awesome energy burning work out to boot!  This would be a great way to fill up a rainy afternoon when they can't go outside to play.  My girls just loved this!  You could also make targets and see if you could hit them, or do some physics experiments to see if heavier objects fall faster.  What's not to love about kid ingenuity and fun!

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