This racing reindeer activity works well outside and indoors if you have enough space. It’s great for learning about the effect of gradient on speed and friction.

You’ll need

String or thin rope

Two toilet roll tubes

Pens, tape and paper to decorate

Instructions

  • Cut two lengths of string or thin rope long enough to create a long zipline.
  • Decorate each toilet roll tube to look like a reindeer.
  • Thread each string through a toilet roll reindeer.
  • Tie the string or rope between two points, one higher than the other.
  • Create a steeper gradient with one string than the other.
  • Hold both reindeer toilet rolls at the top of the string and let go simultaneously.
  • Time how long each reindeer takes to travel down the zipline.
  • Experiment with different types of string or rope or by changing the incline of the zip line.

Experiment Variables

Type of zip wire

The incline of the zip wire

Weight of reindeer

To test one variable, all other variables must remain the same. If you change the incline, keep the type of zip wire and reindeer the same.

Racing Reindeer Extension Ideas

  • Build two zip lines and have a race!
  • Add bubble wrap to the inside of the toilet roll to find out if increasing the friction between the toilet roll and the string slows the reindeer down.

Last Updated on January 2, 2024 by Emma Vanstone

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