Wikki Stix Parachute Fun!

How do parachutes work? What design works best? Which stays in the air the longest?

Items you will need:
Wikki Stix | Scissors | Paper towels or coffee filters…or both! | Hole punch

1.) Start by making a Wikki person…this person will be the “passenger” in your parachute! Here are the directions:

Twist two Wikki Stix together and fold in half.

Twist two Wikki Stix
together and fold in half.

Twist at fold. Bend ends to make feet.

Twist at fold. Bend
ends to make feet.

Bend another Wikki into a loop to make the head and arms.

Bend another Wikki into a loop
to make the head and arms.

Press parts tightly together.

Press parts tightly

2.) Now to make the parachute. The big part you see in the air and you are about to make is called the canopy. You can use paper towels to make a square or rectangular canopy…or a coffee filter to make a round canopy. (You can also cut a round section from a paper towel if you don’t have coffee filters.)

If you make different shaped canopies, you can see which shape flies longest…round, square, triangular, etc. (Clue: a larger sized paper towel works well!)

Use the hole punch or scissors to put holes in the paper…and thread Wikki Stix through the holes, adhering the Wikkies tightly to the parachute canopy. You may find that using four Wikkies is the best way to attach your Wikki person. You can also tie the Wikki Stix to the four corners of the paper towel!

Parachute with Paper Towel
Parachute with Coffee Filter
Parachute with Brown Coffee Filter

3.) Now, attach your Wikki person…deciding if you want to wrap the Wikki Stix around his waist, or twist his arms onto the Wikkies…however you feel the person will be attached the most securely. Use 8” Wikki Stix for this part, or twist two six-inch Wikkies together.

Before tossing your parachutes into the air…can you guess which will fly longest? If you toss a Wikki man into the air without a parachute…does it fall to the ground faster?

Why does the parachute reduce the speed of falling? The parachute provides air resistance, which slows the speed of the fall to earth.

Okay…now it’s time to run and toss your parachute high into the air! See which way works best… holding it by the canopy…or by the Wikki man…or maybe, try holding both together!

Clue: The circular parachute will take the longest to fall; a square parachute will fall faster, and a triangular parachute will fall the very fastest! You can time the various parachutes to see how much difference there is.

And the reason they all ultimately float to the ground is…GRAVITY!

Parachute Activity for Kids
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