Home-made boomerangs make for a great bit of indoor (and outdoor) fun!
Did you know that boomerangs were invented 25,000 to 50,000 years ago? Or that, contrary to popular belief, they didn’t originate in Australia? In fact, the oldest boomerang was discovered in Poland! (Source: CultureQuest)
It is, however, the Aborigines that invented the returning boomerang after realising that a curved stick would have the accuracy and velocity needed for hunting.
Today, though, boomerangs are mostly used for sport and fun and can have a number of different “wings”. A boomerang was used to make the Guinness World Record for the Longest Throw of Any Object by a Human. The record stands at a whopping 1,401.5 feet (427.2 metres)!
Now, while we can’t help you beat that record, we’ve got a great guide to making home-made boomerangs with your little ones. It’s a great, non-messy bit of indoors fun and can also help teach your children some basics physics examples.
What you’ll need:
How to make your home-made boomerangs:
With the ruler, measure out and cut three pieces of card 3.5 cm wide and 15 cm long. If you haven’t got any card don’t worry – old, thin, cardboard boxes will do (especially cereal boxes), if you haven’t already turned your recycling into something else.
Next cut a 2 cm deep slit in the base of each piece. Use this to slot the first two pieces together and then the third.
Using the protractor, make sure the angle between each of the blades is exactly 120 degrees. Check that the wings are evenly spread. Then staple them all in the middle – this will ensure they hold firmly.
This is how they should look :
To get your home-made boomerang airborne, you need to hold one of the blades between your finger and thumb, with the boomerang facing away from you. Set if off spinning by throwing it forward and up with a flick of the wrist. You should see it spinning around but following a curving path that will bring the boomerang back to you.
The science bit:
As the boomerang spins through the air, the wing at the top of the spin is moving at a faster rate than the wing at the bottom. This is because it is moving in the direction you threw it. As a result the top portion will generate more lift. It’s the difference in these forces that gives the boomerang its curving path and should eventually bring it back to where it began. Of course, this doesn’t always happen.
This makes for a great bit of indoors fun but you can take it outdoors. You can use different material, different colours to see how this affects the boomerang’s flight direction.
Now… the record for the longest boomerang throw and return is 238 metres! See how you get on and do let us know, we’d love to see your boomerangs!
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