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Making Parachutes

Kids love playing with parachutes. To make a homemade one, gather some string, plastic baggies (for small parachutes) or plastic shopping bags (for large parachutes), and a small weight like a stone or small plastic figurine. First, poke at least three small holes around the edge of the open end of the bag, making sure that the holes are an equal distance apart. The larger the bag, the more holes you should poke. Tie a piece of string through each hole. Each piece of string should be about six inches long for small baggies, longer for large bags. Gather up the opposite ends of the strings and tie them to the weight or figurine so that it hangs in the center of the parachute.

Have fun with your parachute by dropping it and seeing if it will float through the air, making slight adjustments so that it works well. After you have a working parachute, try experimenting with different size bags, different numbers of holes, and different lengths of string to see what combination makes an even better parachute.

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Mercedes and the Chocolate Pilot, by Margot Theis Reven and Gijsbert van Frankenhuyzen.

Super Flyers, by Neil Francis.