Saturday, December 31, 2011

Celebration Helicopters

No, I won't be staying up till midnight tonight, and J's already down.  It's 8:30p on NYE; I'm such a mean mommy.  He has no clue that much of the world stays up really late and throws fun stuff in the air at midnight tonight.

Well, we made these fun paper helicopters to throw up in the air today.  Yay, science!

Earlier in the month, we played with helicopter leaves.  If you are desert dwellers (like me) and you want to play with helicopter-like science, you can purchase helicopter seeds or you can make your own spinning helicopter out of scrap paper.

Our helicopter was ~6x2 inches and started as a rectangle.


  • Cut the paper in half about 2.5 inches down on the long side (please use your best judgement when letting your child use scissors).
  • Leave half an inch.
  • Make one slit on each side coming in ~1/3 of the way of the paper.
  • Fold the bottom half (where you just made the two slits) into thirds.
  • At the bottom, fold about 1/2 inch up and attach a paper clip.
  • Fold the blades of the helicopter in opposite directions.
  • Toss up in the air and watch the helicopter whirl down to the ground.
  • Shout HAPPY NEW YEAR!  (or whatever you want to celebrate).

Things to experiment with:

  • Attach different paper clips and note how the helicopter reacts.
  • Make different sized helicopters and note how the helicopter reacts.
    • What if the blades were longer/shorter?
    • What if the paper was wider than 2 inches?
  • Drop it from different heights.
  • Drop it upside down and note how it reacts.
  • Make helicopters out of different types of paper: computer, construction, newspaper, cardstock, tissue paper, etc., and note how each react.  Which one(s) make the best helicopter?
I might edit this post at a later time to add the video of J playing helicopter, but for now, I'm going to enjoy my NYE hot fudge sundae and relax with a movie.

Hope you had a safe New Year's!  I look forward to blogging about more science in 2012!

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