#TinyRevolutions: Go Parachuting (sort of)

Something we did in lockdown last year to pass the time was to make mini-parachutes; hours of fun spent making and timing our parachutes, finding out which materials made the most successful parachute, and would float our toy figures to earth slowly and safely.

This Tiny Revolution works particularly well if you have access to a balcony, so perfect if you live in an apartment. But you could also float from an upstairs window or a climbing frame in your local park (take care!).

You will need:
– A range of different kinds of paper / material: wrapping paper, tissue paper, printer paper / lightweight fabric etc (we always used scrap paper / material that would have otherwise been thrown away)
– Some string or wool (4 pieces for each parachute)
-A small figurine (lego works well) or if not, something small and slightly weighted that you could attach to the parachute eg – a small stone.
– Tape
– Clock or something to time on (or you can just count the seconds out loud)

1. Choose one of your materials to make a parachute. Cut a square 15cm x 15cm.
2. Make a small hole in each corner of the square, feed a 20cm long piece of string through each hole and use masking tape / sellotape to secure it in to place.
3. Attach each of the other end of the string to the figurine (we just taped them on)
4. Head to a high up place, start the timer, (check there’s no one below!) and drop the parachute – see how long it takes to reach the ground. Record the time.

You can repeat this with different types of material for the parachute, or experiment with different sized squares, or even try making circular, rectangular or triangular parachutes. Which works best? Try attaching longer strings. Or trying lighter figurines / objects. What’s the best way to get the parachute to float slowly down to earth?

If you happen to share a balcony with a neighbour, why not see who can make the slowest floating parachute? Or set a parachute challenge for your local community and see who can find the best material to make a parachute from. We also challenged some of our young friends to parachute contests over Zoom. There are many ways for this Tiny Revolution to happen. Good luck!

Enjoy – and do send over pictures of your own parachutes. Email them to amie@funpalaces.co.uk, text them to 07747 182 865, or tweet them to @FunPalaces.

If you have an idea for a Tiny Revolution that you’d like to share with the world, send it to: amie@funpalaces.co.uk to be shared on the Fun Palaces website.