And then he played around with it, even naming it "Lightning McQueen." My only guess for the name was due to how fast it went! Here's a video demonstration. Have your child blow as though they are blowing out candles on a birthday cake.
Main take away from lesson: for every action (blowing on the sail) there's an equal and opposite reaction (the car moves!).
Here's how you can make your own sail car out of recyclables.
- Cardboard box (non-corrugated) - I used an empty contact solution box
- 2 wooden skewers (for kabobs, or in our case, chocolate fountain dipping)
- Masking tape
- Cut out the bottom of a box (keep it intact so you don't have to assemble a body of the car).
- With the remainder of the box, I cut a sail and 4 circular wheels (I used small playdough containers to trace my circles).
- Very carefully cut your skewers to a size where they'd make good axles for the car - cut off the pointy side too, for safety, while you are at it.
- With the pointy side of the skewer, puncture your circles in the middle of the circle (don't hole punch these - you want them to be a tight fit on the skewer so they roll/move with the axle).
- Attach one wheel to each circle.
- Single hole punch 4 holes for the axles - 2 in the front and 2 in the back (make the holes relatively straight across from each other).
- Insert the axles and attach the other wheels.
- Position your wheels so they aren't touching the side of the car (friction) or falling off of the axles. You want them to be as straight as possible.
- Tape the ends of your axles, so your wheels don't pop off.
- With left over skewer parts (axle "rejects"), tape a piece of skewer to your sail and attach it to your car. I found masking tape works best.
- Mark and X or put a sticker where you want your child to blow if they are having problems directing their sail car.
This to play around with
- Shape of the sail
- Direction of the sail
- Where to blow on the sail (use a mini fan if your child can't blow hard enough)
- Weight in car
- Weight of car (downsize if it's not working)
- Race your car(s) - who can go fastest/furthest with one blow?
- Navigate your car through a maze
- Decorate your sail car (not sciency, but keeps them out of trouble for a few more minutes and make it theirs)
I'd love to hear feedback of how your home sail car project went.