How to make a  Wind Tunnel

windtunnel2
I made a new wind tunnel for the kids, and its awesome.  This Wind Tunnel is even easier to make then the first wind tunnel I made. And you can leave it on all day if you like!

They love it! That’s right we all love the new wind tunnel.

I made it out of some packaging material. Specifically this it made out of the packaging material to keep the corners of a refrigerator from getting bumped and dented. So make sure you check out your local appliance stores. I have a great one by me that will save boxes etc., f you just call and ask.

The kids will play with the wind tunnel for an hour plus. Taking turns stuffing scarves, balloons and more into the tube while the others ran around trying to catch whatever came flying out of the tube!

Liam’s favorite were the balloons. I used small water balloons that I blew up with just a little bit of air.

You can see it flying up at the top of the shower curtain. Yes I hung a shower curtain in my garage. Behind it is our garage food storage. The garage is another play area for the kids as well as our functional garage. I wanted the space to be for them though. So I try and make it look as inviting to them as possible. The curtain also works as a curtain for the plays they put on. But I digress, we are here to talk about a wind tunnel.

Ages: 3-4years

Materials Needed:

The cardboard packing material from a fridge (just one needed)

Clear projector paper (10 pieces)

Clear packing tape

A fan

Zip ties

Scarves, balloons, tissue paper, paper cups, paper umbrellas

  • This experience is best in the indoor classroom

 

  • Procedure:
  • The set up attach projector sheet paper two side by side with clear packing tape. continue to do this until you have enough to cover your packing material which will be your backing. now attach all your sheets of clear projector sheet 2X1 together. Once they are all connected in a long row attach them with clear packing tape to the packing material backing. Punch holes in the backing with a screw driver so that you can slide zipties through. Use the zip ties to secure your wind tunnel to your desired post.
  • You can initiate the activity during the morning meeting by asking  how can we explore ways wind can be used as “force”. The provocation will be the setup and the invitation to explore. “How can they use air to make these items move?”
  • The children might participate by sending the items provided through the wind tunnel and then by trying to catch the items as they fall down.
  • The open-ended questions may be as follows: “I wonder what is happening here?” “How have you seen the wind move things outside?” “What do you think makes the wind move the items?” “How might we slow items down?” “I wonder how might we measure how fast items are moving?” “What might sink what might float in the wind tunnel?”
  • The language introduced will include the following FIVE words: Velocity, aerodynamics (air flow), air current, air Drag and Force.
  • To support the children’s learning further I would explore wind with them outside if there is any that day. I would also create another wind tunnel that works differently with this wind tunnel it has an open top and children will explore balancing materials in mid air. Here is a link to when I did this with my son. http://familylicious.com/how-to-make-a-wind-tunnel/
  • Simplify- To meet the needs of a new “explorer” I would allow them to explore the materials and test them out to see how they move in the air current.
  • Extension- To meet the needs of a child who needs a more complex level. I would challenge them to think of new items that they think might move in the wind tunnel. Items I have not provided. I would then have the child test there hypothesis by using the item in the wind tunnel.
  • California Preschool Foundation Areas that might be covered
  • Developmental Experiences:Number Sense: 1.5  Math:

Use the number name of the last object counted to answer the question, “How many …?”

We will pass scarves and balloons in the air stream of the wind tunnel.

You ca assess by asking questions about how many balloons/ scarves they were able to pass through and observing and recording their answer as they attempt the experience.

Physical:

Manipulative Skills: 3.2

Begin to show fine motor manipulative skills using hands and arms such as in-hand manipulation, writing, cutting, and dressing.

 

Placing the scarves and items into the wind tunnel takes fine motor manipulation. Especially for scarves they need to be bunched into a ball to pass through. I will assess by observing how the children use the materials.

 

Science:

Observation and Investigation 1.5

Make predictions and check them, with adult support, through concrete experiences.

Have the children making predictions before testing out each item for the first time though the wind tunnels.

Assess by asking open ended questions and observing the answers given.

Documenting Learning:

Document the learning by recording anecdotal observations and by taking pictures.

 

Just incase you are wondering where I got my scarves I bought them from Lakeshore Learning here is a link to them.
lakeshore scarves
The fan I used is this one I bought it at Walmart.
honeywell fan

And if you want to check out my other wind tunnel follow this link.
Wind Tunnel

Comments

  1. Found you through LivingMontessoriNow. This wind tunnel looks great! But I can’t figure out from the pictures how you put it together — please share on the blog!

    • debra92691 says:

      I had to work with what I have. So I attached the packing material to my shelving. Leaving space between the packing material tubing and the fan to pass things through. I just aligned the packing material over the fan to direct the air flow through the tubing. I taped clear overhead projector sheets together with clear packing tape to create the clear tunnel on the packaging base. (Basically you need a tube to pass the scarves through). Put your fan below and direct your air current.

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