Today, I have another junk play post to share. T-Rex invented this game and both he and his sister really enjoyed it. If you have elementary kids, this would be a great activity to pull out for some after school fun. You'll be sneaking some great physics too!
Materials for "bottle throw"
String (We used our clothesline)
The goal of the game is to catch the bottle and then throw it back over the line, in the yard, without your opponent catching the bottle.
This is a nice demonstration of standard projectile motion. However, you also get the added complexity of a rotating object instead of a point.
The Pony Artist added a variation which includes a second bottle. The goal is to hit your opponent's bottle and knock it back onto their side of the string.
This is a beautiful momentum and collision demonstration.
Finally, I suggested adding some water to the bottle. I asked what difference they observed. They noticed that the bottle did not go as high. Equal force with greater mass results in less acceleration.
I did not spend much time discussing physics with my kids. In fact, it would have been just as well if I had not discussed any at all. They were learning just the same. These experiences of basic play where children experience how the world works first hand are incredibly valuable. They are building the background knowledge that they will pull from as they study science formally in the years to come.
An occupational therapist would have her own list of reasons that this play is useful. Active, hands on play is extremely valuable. The best news is, all you need are simple objects, some of which you were going to discard anyway.
For more great ideas on how to use your junk for play, check out the Junk Play Challenge hosted by Best Toys 4 Toddlers.
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