Force and Motion Fun {Some Simple, Fun, Low-Prep Ideas}

Simple, fun, low-prep ideas for learning about force and motion in science!
We've been busy learning all about force and motion these days. We started off with lots of vocabulary, and then of course the best way to learn about these abstract concepts is by doing some hands-on activities and experiments. Here are a few easy, fun, low prep activities you can do with your class to learn about gravity, friction, force, and simple machines. I set all of these activities out for my students one afternoon, and they rotated around. Have fun! 

This is an amazing book! Get it now if you're teaching about force, motion, gravity, etc! 

Click the picture for the link to Amazon! 

If you have access to iPads, or even an iPad, students can drop different objects and then use the slow motion setting on the camera to see how objects will hit the ground at the same time, no matter what their weight. (This brought up some great discussions when students tried to drop a tennis ball and their hat {facing down}, and why the hat fell "slower"...which led to more questions and great conversation and more experiments with parachutes...) 

(Oh my goodness- please ignore the disgusting dirty floor!!)

An easy way to measure weight- tie different objects to rubber bands and hold them up at the same height. Easy! The kids could do this for hours it was so much fun... Another fun way to show weight is to simply bring in a scale. Kids love to see how much they weigh! 

To show gravity- watch honey fall from a spoon. Simple. Messy. Sticky. Fun. Kids loved it. 

If you're learning about simple machines, kids can experiment with this game we found through BrainPop Jr. Kids can experiment with how using simple machines help make work easier and how using a simple machine requires less force.  

(You do not need a BrainPop account to play this game!) 

I love showing kids The Sandlot when the boys use the pulley & wheel & axle to lift Yeah-Yeah over the fence. This is a perfect example of how a simple machine might be used. ;-) It's at 1:09:15 in the movie if you're interested! 


If you have class iPads, I always encourage my students to record whatever they're doing or learning. This serves two purposes: #1 They're able to go back and review and revisit the learning. And #2 They can compile all of their learning together in one spot like a portfolio. Our favorite apps to do this are iMovie and Book Creator! 

And if all else fails, just chuck stuff up in the air ;-) to show gravity!

Next week, we're going to be making ramps using simple household items (empty cereal boxes, tissue boxes, toilet paper rolls, paper towel rolls, etc.). If you need a letter to send home requesting these items. here you go!

Just click the picture to download! 

Do you have any other ideas for force and motion! I've LOVE to hear about them! 

1 comment

  1. Sandy,

    These ideas are so fun! Thank you for sharing. :)