Pendulum Play is Amazing!

There is extreme learning and fun when playing with a pendulum! This post on Pendulum Play was inspired by pendulum paint. I wanted to repurpose the frame used for painting. My husband made the frame for me so that my kids could experience pendulum paint. He used theĀ photos from Teacher Tom’s post on pendulum painting. Here’s the frame my Doug made:

To make the frame you need:

  • 1/2 inch pcv pipe (the amount will depend on the size of frame you want to build)
  • 6 elbows
  • 2 t-joints
  • 3 screws
  • 1 washer
  • string
  • heavy wire (coat hanger)
  • 1 plastic cup with a 1 hole cut into the bottom, and 2 small holes in the side

Size – This frame was made so that a 11 X 17 piece of paper could fit under it.

The cup has a whole in the bottom so that if you use it for pendulum painting you can place a smaller cup, with a small hole in the bottom to release paint for painting. There are two holes in the side of the cup to insert the wire to hang it from the string.

And yes, Mid Missouri readers, it’s a Shakespeare’s Pizza cup. Please forgive me. Nothing is sacred when creating and repurposing for the cause of blogging. hehe

The most clever thing about MY frame, is that the height of the cup can be changed by moving the washer at the end of the string to different screws in the side of the frame:


To pendulum PLAY your child can use any safe objects or toys from around the house: cups, blocks, cans, action figures, cars, trucks, dinosaurs, Barbies, boxes of pudding, empty plastic bottles…the sky and grown-up permission is the limit! They can stack their objects then try to knock them down with the pendulum.

Children can experiment by changing the length of the pendulum. They can also change the weight of the pendulum by changing the object placed in the cup. We used a box of pudding. (And really, I have no idea why I have so much lime jello in the house! I think it calls for some lime flavored play dough.)

There really is no limit to the play that can be created! With no limits to play, means no limits to learning. Pendulum Play is excellent for learning cause and effect, physics, spatial reasoning, experimenting with weight and size, language and vocabulary, working together. I can see it being used for dramatic play as well.

Having fun creating, playing, crashing and burning together!

There are many variations to this activity on the internet. If you have a post on pendulum play please share the link in the comments below. I would love to see and share other options and ideas!

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We are tickled to be linked to this fun and fantastic blog hops and sites!

JDaniel Four’s Mom

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