How To Make a Parachute

How To Make a Parachute

Making a parachute:

A typical parachute must be able to withstand high altitude wind, it must be light weight and flexible. These factors are what should be considered when designing your parachute.

The materials for the parachute must meet those three criteria before you invest your time into making the parachute.

It’s important to remember that there are no room for errors when making a parachute. So adhere strictly to material specification and subsequent instructions.

Parachute Materials:

Nylon (You can as well use a plastic bag or any other light weight material e.g plastic bag, paper napkin or cloth)

String or thread


Human miniature (Or any other type of small object that can serve as weight)

How To Make A Parachute: Instruction

  1. From your nylon material cut a square shaped portion, size may vary but a 30 * 30 cm would be good for modeling.
  2. Cut you string or thread into four equal length. (It’s very important that the threads are of equal length)
  3. Tape the thread on each edge of the square shaped nylon. Use a small tape on each edge.
  4. Turn the nylon over
  5. Tie the thread together near the end of their length.
  6. Attach the miniature object to the thread.
  7. Fold the parachute material into half
  8. Fold into half again
  9. The place the miniature inside the parachute
  10. Throw the parachute out of the window!

types of parachutes

There are two major types of parachutes, the major difference is in the design of their canopy which eventually affects their mechanism of functioning.

Dome Shaped: This type of parachute would usually have a dome shaped canopy, the shape ranges from hemisphere to cone. It functions by trapping air in the dome part of the chutes, which results into retarded movement of the object hanging on the parachute.

Rectangular Parafoil: This type of parachute is made up of several numbers of tubular cells and it is commonly used for sport and recreational purposes.

Parachute Games For Kids

There are various types of parachute games for kids; this section will show you about five of them. Take note that you would need a well designed games parachute for the games listed here, because the parachute you created following the instruction in the earlier part of this post is a very small parachute and is not fun to play with.

Parachute Tag: You would be required to lift up the parachute into the air, then the instructor would call out two children names; who will go under the parachute and quickly call out another name before the parachute comes down. This game is good for kids bonding.

The Wave: Children would circle round a big parachute and the would be required to hold the edge of the canopy, then they would raise their hands one after the other to create a wave-like pattern from the canopy.

Roller Ball: The aim of the game is to keep the ball rolling on the extreme edge of the parachute canopy. As the ball approach your end, you would carefully lower your edge and pass it on to the next person.

Ball in the bucket: Divide the student into a team of two or three, and give each team a ball of different color. The aim of the game is for each team to protect their ball from entering the hole in the middle of the parachute, and also find a way of forcing other team’s ball into the hole.

Poison Snakes: Place some ropes on the parachute, then shake the parachute while the children try to change the direction of the rope away from them; because they don’t want to get bitten (touched) by the snake (rope)

For more parachute games for kids check here.

Science Of How Parachute Works

The science behind the functionality of a parachute is very simple.

The force of gravity which is responsible for bringing an object down to the ground is know to be approximately 10 m/s.  Check how stuff works.

Which means any object would descend to the earth surface at this particular speed. Falling to the ground at that speed will result into a great impact and subsequent injury becomes inevitable.

What a parachute does is to reduce the speed from 10 m/s to the smallest speed. And here is how it does that:

It basically traps air into the canopy and increases the overall air resistance.

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