An open parachute drifting toward the ground is fascinating to watch. Creating a toy parachute is a safer alternative to actually parachuting from an great height. Parachutes make great toys and science experiments. Toy soldiers, cars and wooden blocks are easily attached to a home-made parachute.
Toy parachutes are frequently made from plastic bags or tissue paper. But for a sturdier model, use ripstop nylon and hem the edges.
Cut the plastic bag or light cloth into shape. An 18-inch square is simple and works well. Try a pentagon or octagon for a more complex parachute.
Cut a one-inch hole in the centre of the parachute. This hole allows air to escape as the parachute falls, permitting the parachute to drift straight down.
Cut the string into 24-inch pieces; one for each corner.
Attach one piece of string to each corner of the parachute. For the simplest parachute, tie the corner to the string. For advanced models, fold the corner under and hand-stitch the string to the cloth. If you are using ripstop nylon, hem the edges, sewing the string into the hem at the corners.
Tie the strings to the toy soldier. For a removable parachute, tie the strings to a paper clip. Tie a short piece of string into a loop, and use it as a harness for the soldier. Clip the harness and soldier to the paper clip.
Hold the parachute in the centre, and fold the sides down. Roll the parachute around the toy soldier and into a ball.
Throw the parachute as high as possible to give the cloth time to unwind.
Things you need
- Plastic bag or light cloth
- Ruler or tape measure
- Hand sewing-needle and thread
- Toy soldier or other weighted toy
- Paper clip