Friday, May 13, 2011

Folk Toy Fridays - The Flipperdinger

Okay, I'm not kidding, Flipperdinger is actually this toy's name, or at least the old folk toy this toy is based on. I didn't make it up. Though, I did simplify the toy, to make it possible for the kids to create on their own.

My thinking is with summer coming on, and children looking for something to do, it would be fun to feature a folk toy, hopefully each Friday, redone in a modern, kid-friendly fashion.

The Flipperdinger, in it's original form, uses the Bernoulli principle to move a ball, with a wire through it, up a stream of air, and hook it over a basket ball, or noose type hoop. To see a demonstration, click here.

We made our Flipperdingers out of bendy straws, two pipe cleaners each, a pompom (we tried a couple of different sizes, but liked the 1'' size the best), a bread tie, and a piece of yarn less than a foot long.

First, we bent the bendy straw, to make a pipe.

Then, we connected the two pipe cleaners by overlapping two of their ends, and wrapping them around each other, to make one long pipe cleaner. We made a loop in one end of it, and twirled the other end around our straw, near the bendy end, as shown.

We pushed the bread tie through the middle of the pompom, and hooked one end of it.

Finally we placed it in the bendy end of the straw, so the pipe cleaner hoop was standing over it, and blew through the other end.

Our version doesn't use Bernoulli's principle so much, but a puff of air will make the pompom fly up.

The idea is to hook the bread tie onto the pipe cleaner hoop. It's not impossible, but it is very hard.

To make the game a little easier, I turned the bread tie hook into a loop, and tied a piece of yarn to the loop on one end, and the straw on the other, as shown.

Then, the idea was simply to get the pompom through the hoop, and dangling over the rim.

That's still challenging, but easy enough to be enjoyable even for the younger children.

It's great to be a homeschooler.


Phyllis said...

I like the idea of Folk Toy Fridays! It is so strange. We have been studying Bernoulli's principle with our unit on Fluid Dynamics. I am amazed at how often our topics are similar!

Debbie said...

Should I admit to remembering these?

Unknown said...

Flipperdinger...what a name...

Ticia said...

That is an awesome toy and I LOVE this idea!

Christy Killoran said...

That is a very cool toy! Love the name too.

Natalie PlanetSmarty said...

This is pretty neat, and I am looking forward to more toy Fridays. When I was a child, I had a similar toy too, and I really enjoyed it.