Amazing Swing Experiment

Hmmm.... Can we see the laws of physics in action while swinging on a swing? Well, we do love to swing, so let's find out!

  1. Ages: 5 - 16

  2. <30 minutes

  3. A little messy

  4. Grownup needed

Materials you'll need

Step-by-step tutorial

  • Step 1

    This is one of our favorite physics experiments. Supposedly, a swing will swing at the same rate, no matter who's on it. Can this be true?

    Photo reference of how to complete step 1

  • Step 2

    We set our kitchen timer for one minute. Madeleine decided that she would swing "medium" first. I pulled her back a bit, pushed "start" on the timer, and let her go. Swing, swing, swing! We counted the times that she swung back to me...one...two...three...16!

    Photo reference of how to complete step 2

  • Step 3

    Jorge's turn! Jorge went low and slow, lest he fall off. Again, "One...two...three...16!" before the timer went "beep beep beep."

    Photo reference of how to complete step 3

  • Step 4

    Trevy's turn... Trev's swing was a combo: sometimes fast, sometimes slow. 16 swings in a minute!

    Photo reference of how to complete step 4

  • Done!

    Mama's turn! Oh, I went as high as I could... I was moving so fast... Sixteen! Maddie wanted to give it one more go, "fast" this time... Yup! You guessed it! She swung 16 times in a minute. Slow or fast...with a tiny stuffed animal or holding a grown-up, a swing will swing the same amount of times! Awesome. Now grab your timer and go!

    Photo reference of how to complete step 5

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