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Parachutes on the Moon?

A few days ago, I posted an activity about moon craters. Many of you reached out to me and told me your children loved the activity. So, here is a similar activity: parachutes. Parachutes cannot be used in the moon because there’s no atmosphere. But, they make for a wonderful invention here on Earth. This is today’s science question. Which parachute has the softest landing?

And in case you didn’t notice the picture, these scientists are fashionistas and smart girls. 

Parachutes rely on atmospheric draft in order to glide. When a parachute is released into the air, the air pressure below the parachute fabric creates an upward force that opposes the gravity force. These opposing forces cancel each other and the parachute glides. 

Physics is so COOL! Read more about how parachutes help scientists.

Step 1: Get Materials

  • three plastic bags
  • string
  • tape
  • 3 equal objects
  • scissors
  • marker

Note: If you don’t have 3 plastic bags, reduce the size of the squares. You can also use wrapping tissue paper, coffee filters, or wax paper.

Step 2: Cut 

Cut out three squares.

  • The first square is 4 inches x 4 inches
  • The second square is 6 inches x 6 inches
  • The third square is 10 inches x 10 inches

Step 3: String the Parachutes

  • Cut out 12 pieces of string that are 12 inches long each. 
  • Tape one piece of string to each corner of the plastic squares

Step 4: Attach Objects

Step 5: Test

There are many ways in which you can test our main question. Which parachute has the softest landing? I decided, once again, to use my kitchen cabinets to test. Here is a video on how we did it. 

Step 6: Talk

Do the talk, the science talk it is! Go ahead and answer the main question. Which parachute has the softest landing? Your child should have noticed the pattern that the bigger the parachute the longer it took to land. The largest parachute had the softest landing.This is because the larger square has more surface area-hence, it takes longer to glide down.

Hope you enjoyed this activity! Here is today’s book that goes along with the activity. Click on the image to visit my affiliate Amazon store, at no additional cost to you.


This book has a timeline for everything! Seriously. What I love about this book is that it can serve a multi-age family. Beautiful pictures enchant the early reader and the succinct history facts are thought-provoking to the older child. 

Share with us your results! Leave a comment below. ⇓ Don’t forget to subscribe to Chillax Science.

Published by Reizelie Barreto, PhD

Reizelie is a former homeschool parent and a trained science and Montessori teacher with a passion for curriculum development. She loves learning and teaching and on her spare time she helps families create home environments that enrich a child's learning. Reizelie has a PhD in science education and has been working in the field of education for the last 19 years. She loves helping teachers, schools, and homeschooling families improve their science curriculum in ways that are authentic to scientists' work.

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