Inspiration – Family Trip to France
Batman Flying Activity
Being married to somebody in the aviation business, I am especially drawn to learning activities related to flight. Leonardo da Vinci was also very interested in this subject and he drew inspiration from nature. He is known from his writings and sketches to have studied the shape of bat wings and considered them an ideal means to lift men into the sky. Thus, he was the original creator of batman! Lol.
My boys are obsessed with batman so when I told them we would see if we can make our own bat wings for a batman flying activity, they jumped right on board!
We watched these videos about Leonardo’s interest in Man Taking Flight.
- Leonardo da Vinci: His Contributions to Modern Flight
Then I gave my sons a display of inspiration – toy planes, helicopters, bats, batman, etc., and asked them to make their own sketch of some type of wings or flying machine we could create and use for experiments. My 6 year old son came up with this 4 pointed wing design.
1. Using my sons drawing as a guide, I drew out the wings on a large cardboard box. Then, I cut it out and made holes where the ropes could go to tie around my son’s torso. After tying it on, he asked that we add a handle onto the top wings for his hands to hold on. Great improvement upon the design!
2. Trampoline Jumps: We bounced off the trampoline with and without the the batman flying activity wings. We didn’t notice much effect.
3. Playground jumps: We went to our nearby playground which has a nice layer of rubber matting. My son jumped off a 2 foot jump without the wings. We measured his distance as 32 inches We repeated it with the wings and the distance 35 inches. (The breeze might have helped.)
4. High-Dive Jumps: This was by far the funnest way to test the wings. Unfortunately though, the pool water quickly soaks the cardboard wings and destroys them instantly, so we left this one for last! Same idea – we did a before wings distance jump and an after wings distance jump. We found that the wings actually pulled him down faster – we need a lighter material for next time. Probably the same problems Leonardo da Vinci faced!
Parenting crisis moment
Have I created a monster? My oldest son has always been the thrill-seeker. Have I just encouraged him to try out free-jumping or wing-suits? Will this be him in another 8 years? OH GOD – WHAT HAVE I DONE???
Helicopter Toys – Leonardo da Vinci Activity
We noticed that da Vinci’s design for a spiral shaped swirling helicopter was similar in some ways to one of our favorite toys – the Skyrocopter.
So we finished off our flight-learning day by pulling and launching these disks in the backyard.
Here’s a link to buy this awesome toy through Amazon.
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Have you tried this batman flying activity at home? What have you done to teach your children about flight or making inventions? I would love to hear in the comments!