I guess I must have picked float as the theme for this week’s Unplugged Project because last week’s marbleizing project involved floating a piece of paper in a baking tray of water. Well, I won’t do that again, because all I could think of all week long were ideas very similar to our marbleizing project. I was completely without inspiration.
Then this boring, snowy Sunday, as the kids were playing Calico Critters, I suddenly had the inspiration to try making a Calico Critter parachute. Parachutes float (…hopefully…)!
We gathered together some scarves of different sizes and fabrics to experiment with, some items for the “cockpit” (a small basket and a little nylon pouch that originally contained some fiberfill stuffing – I am glad to be a packrat, I knew that pouch would come in handy one day!), yarn, scissors, and a couple of fearless test-pilots:
First we cut four pieces of yarn all the same length. Then we tied one piece of yarn onto each corner of the scarf:
Next we attached our basket and pouch. In an effort to take weight into consideration, we decided to put the pouch on the cotton bandanna because the bandanna was heavier than the play silk and the pouch was lighter than the basket.
We tied the strings onto the pouch by bunching up the fabric just as we had done with the scarf.
We tied the basket on with a string on each handle and a string on each side in the middle in order to keep it as well-balanced as possible:
NOTE: Be careful tying the strings onto your “cockpit.” You want to keep them in order so that aren’t twisted and it can get a bit confusing, especially if your cloth is big and your strings long.
Also, you could simply tie your object directly on to the strings without having a container. I think it is more fun with a basket or a pouch though, that makes it much easier for children to experiment with different objects and toys.
The cats found this project to be particularly appealing. Strings plus soft things to lie on meant 5-star kitty excitement:
In popped the intrepid test-pilots, and off we went to the upstairs landing for launch.
Make sure you hold the parachute by pinching it in the center and dangling it all over the edge of the railing before dropping. Also, for best performance, the strings should not be twisted or tangled.
The bandanna went first – success!
Next was the playsilk. It didn’t crash, but it went down pretty fast. I thought that it might be because of the air flowing through the holes in the basket.
We lined the basket with a paper napkin and the second launch was perfect! The parachute floated gracefully down to the ground.
I am pleased to report that no Calico Critters were injured in the testing of the parachutes.
If you are curious, here’s a 5 second video of our silk parachute:
If you did a float Unplugged Project this week, please put your link in Mr. Linky below (link to your post, not just your blog please so your post will always be easy to find). It’s also wise to leave a comment so if Mr. Linky ever disappears, you won’t disappear with it! If you did not join in, then please do not link, but read more about how to join in here.
I am trying to visit at least a few projects every week, but I can’t always get to everyone anymore. I feel a bit bad about that, but blogging is not a full-time occupation for me, so I guess I can only do my best. I hope you all understand!
The theme for next week’s Unplugged Project, will be: