Science Experiment

How to make a Simple Parachute

Here’s a simple way to make a parachute:


  • a plastic bag
  • scissors
  • string
  • a small toy or other lightweight object to use as a weight


  1. Cut the bottom off of a plastic bag, so you are left with a large, rectangular piece of plastic.
  2. Fold the plastic in half, then fold it in half again, so you are left with a smaller square.
  3. Cut four evenly spaced holes along the folded edges of the square.
  4. Tie a piece of string to each hole, then tie the other ends of the strings to a small toy or other lightweight object.
  5. Hold the toy above your head and release it, watching as the plastic unfolds and the strings slow its descent.

Note that this is a very basic experiment and it’s not going to have a proper parachute mechanics such as opening on time, or have a good resistance to lift the weight. this experiment is just to show the basic principles of how a parachute works.

YouTube video

The best material for a mini parachute would depend on the specific requirements of the parachute and the conditions it will be used in. Some factors to consider might include:

  • Weight: The weight of the material should be considered, especially if the parachute will be carried by a small or lightweight object.
  • Tensile strength: The material should be able to withstand the forces exerted on it during deployment, so a high tensile strength is important.
  • Porosity: The material should be air permeable in order to provide the necessary drag to slow the descent of the parachute.
  • UV resistance: If the parachute will be used outdoors, a material that is UV resistant will be more durable.

Based on these factors, common materials for mini parachute include:

  • Nylon : It’s light weight, durable, and has a good tensile strength, also UV resistance and air permeable.
  • Silk : It’s lightweight and air permeable but not UV resistant.
  • Polyester : It’s lightweight, and durable but not UV resistance

It’s worth noting that using various materials can help for a better performance of the parachute, for example; a canopy made of nylon, and a shroud line of Kevlar (high tensile strength)

Try simple science experiments at home with your kids. Learn about buoyancy by making a boat out of aluminum foil and testing it in a bowl of water. Explore density by layering liquids of different densities in a clear container. Build a volcano with baking soda and vinegar. Have fun learning about science together!


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