What is gravity?

Activities & Days Out / 23 February, 2020 / Nanny Anita

What is Gravity? A Craft for Kids

This week’s science experiment is an easy one, it doesn’t require any real set up or clean up time (unless you make a huge mess doing it). Plus it introduces children to a rather important law of physics – gravity!

Before we started I asked my charges if they want to do, no one is ever forced to do one of my activities. Thankfully they are both normally really eager to take part in them, I also think the idea of standing on the kitchen counter throwing things off of it really appealed to them.

You will need:

  • Things to drop

Safety was our number one priority when doing this experiment, so only one of them was allowed to be on the counter at a time, and they weren’t allowed up there without an adult with them. We also covered the area below them with cushions, not only was this in case they fell off, but also to protect the floor and object we were using.

Before we started I asked if they had ever heard of gravity and what they knew about it. EC had heard of it and could give a sort of explanation of what he knew about it. YC had also heard of it as they are doing the topic of space at school, so this was actually a really nice tie in for her.

Once we had talked about what we knew and how cool gravity actually is, we got on with our experiment. First up was EC with a bunch of teddies. Poor Olaf was the first to demonstrate the force of gravity and of course he came tumbling down, good thing we had those cushions there. Then we tried dropping two teddies at the same time to see what would happen. We had Olaf and a much smaller Tigger teddy take the plunge. YC was in charge of telling us what happened, she was very happy to report that Olaf had hit the ground before Tigger. This lead to us talking about objects that are heavy will fall faster than lighter ones. Of course heavier objects DON’T always fall faster, but I think I will leave air resistance for when they are slightly older!

YC weighing up which is heavier - the rocks or the eggs.

YC weighing up which is heavier – the rocks or the eggs.

The second experiment that we did was to drop two objects at once and see which will hit the ground first. YC next up, so I gave her a bag with two stones in and another bag filled with Hama beads. Both EC and YC made a prediction as to what was going to happen, and of course they both said that the bag of rocks would fall faster. As YC was dropping the objects EC was checking to see what would happen. Imagine their surprise when they both hit the ground at the same time. I explained to them that although you think the rocks are heavier than the beads, I had actually weighed them to make sure both bags weighed the same. Therefore as they both were the same weight, they both fell at the same speed.

EC decided that he would see if a box of magic tricks would fall faster than his etch-a-sketcher

EC decided that he would see if a box of magic tricks would fall faster than his etch-a-sketcher

To finish up our activity they both went of to find their own things to throw off and make predictions about what was going to happen. All in all a fun little activity for everyone to do.

YC tried dropping lemons and limes.

YC tried dropping lemons and limes.

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