Science Experiment for Kids: Salt Pendulum
In this activity, we combine science, art, and kinetic fun! Using a funnel and some colored salt, we swung the funnel around to create different “artscapes” below on the black poster board. My kids enjoy kinetic sand and were excited to see what kind of “pictures” they could make swinging the funnel around!
We went ahead and made our own colored salt. Below are the supplies and instructions to do so:
- Liquid Watercolors
- Ziploc bags
- Dump salt into each Ziploc bag that you plan to make. We used three different colors, so we had three.
- Put a few drops of liquid watercolor into each bag.
- Close the bag (leave out any air), and knead each one for a few minutes. Done!
Now, Supplies and Instructions for the activity!
- Colored salt
- Black poster board
- Beads (optional)
- Hot Glue
- Thumbtacks (optional)
- A doorway for hanging the pendulum
Punch three evenly spaced holes near the top of your funnel.
If you are using thumbtacks, push them through the holes and hot glue a bead onto the pointed end to protect fingers.
Cut three equal lengths, roughly 10” to 12”, of string and knot them together at the top.
Tie the loose ends of the strings to the thumbtacks. If you are not using thumbtacks, thread the string through the holes in the funnel, knot them securely, and add a dab of hot glue to the ends.
Figure out where you will hang the pendulum. We hung ours over the patio doorway. Hang two hooks or two nails on either side of the top of the door frame. Make sure it is in a location where you can easily clean up afterwards! Once the hooks are in place, tie a taut piece of string between them.
Cut one long piece of string and tie it to the knotted strings on the pendulum. Center it on the upper cross string and tie it. Remember that the salt will weigh down the pendulum when hanging, or hang the pendulum about a foot above the floor to account for the weight of the salt (this is what we did).
Place your black poster board underneath the pendulum.
It’s ready! Untape the bottom and swing the pendulum gently.
Our colors overlapped on the board. It was a good experiment to see, if swung a different way, if we would create a different shape or design. The looser your salt is, we discovered, the better for free flowing salt. Gather the salt and save for another art afternoon!
For more science experiments for kids, please check out our Pinterest page!
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Photographs and content by: Heather Kucenski