I love finding simple, creative ways to explore with my kids. When I came across this idea for coffee filter parachutes, it fit the bill because
1) – we already had coffee filters and pipe cleaners (chenille stems)
2) – it required very little finesse or talent. Pinterest and I don’t get along very well.
3) – the possibilities for exploration were endless
We started out mostly following directions.
Then my kids became curious – they tried different combinations:
- Beads weighting the stems in different locations
- Holes in the filters in various locations
- Centered and non-centered stems
After that, I stood on a chair, and we raced them, 2 at a time, predicting which would be fastest, slowest, & why, and then testing their hypotheses.
Today, we gathered up all our chutes and headed to the local playground.
There we further tested our chutes with the added wind variable (plus the crumpled variable from being handled so much). It was a blast.
A couple things we learned: we had the little 4c basket shaped filters. This probably would have worked better with a larger size, and if you’re working with little kids especially, make sure the pipe cleaner ends get bent down so no one gets poked in all the excitement.
What variations did your kids come up with?
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Nice idea. I have some big coffee filters that we’ve had for a few years that I almost threw out…