We move, we can move things directly, or we can do something a bit more indirect. This is part of learning about cause and effect, movement and energy.
Little ones will just be thrilled to have an effect, big ones can play with it – how do I make it move further?
- Pull – the most direct ways of moving something.
- Pull back and let go – for an elastic band or branch it is more indirect, it stores the energy you put in by pulling then releases it.
- Blow – on a leaf, paper or insect, or make a simple windmill. It’s another lovely demonstration that air is there because it can transfer a force.
- Put it under running water – very similar to blowing, but here you can see the water.
- Put it on a slope – whoah! Gravity! It doesn’t have to have wheels, we’ve sent many toys down the slide at the park.
- Knock the supports from under it – Gravity again. And hours of giggling.
- Hit it with something else (eg a bat) – Exactly like blowing, but you are using the middle object to transfer the force.
- Put it in water and push or pull the water – this one’s a bit magic. Try floating balls in water and scooping your hand past them to move them around. You can even have races to see who can get their ball back first without touching it.
- Use a lever – It can be as simple as a shovel or a see-saw. How does the balance point affect the movement?
- Use a pulley – The simplest pulley is a rope going around a pole to change direction – move something away from you by pulling towards you. Or go around a few poles and see how easy it becomes to lift something.
- Use a fan – There are two levels of indirectness here – you are using a tool to move the air to move something else. Try racing balloons around the room and see how little control you have!
- Go all out - OK Go – This Too Shall Pass – My favourite is the Newton’s Cradle of sledghammers, watch this video, it’s seriously funny. It might not be safe to show it to your kids though!
How have you had fun moving things around?
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