Hot air balloons are majestically awesome and a great way to learn about density. The good news is you’ve probably already got everything you need to make one waiting for you in your kitchen!
What do I need?
- 4 place-mats
- Recycling bag with no holes in it
STEP1 – First of all build a little barrier with your place-mats just to make sure that your plastic bag doesn’t melt and make a terrible smell.
WARNING1: This experiment does involve heat so you must have adult supervision.
WARNING2: Your plastic bag doesn’t have any holes in it so DON’T put your head inside it as you won’t be able to breathe.
STEP2 – Turn your toaster on!
STEP3 – Pop your recycling bag around the place-mats making sure not to melt your bag and watch in awe as it fills up with air!
STEP4 – When your hot air balloon is starting to pull up just let go and launch your hot air balloon!
What’s going on?
Your toaster powered hot air balloon works the exact same way as a real hot air balloon!
Not only is this experiment plenty of fun but it’s a great illustration of density too! When our bag starts to heat up the air inside expands (gets bigger).
This is because the air molecules within the bag are moving faster as they have more energy and so are pushing themselves further apart. As the air has expanded, the bag will be lighter than before (less dense) so your hot air balloon launches!
More Fun Please! - Experiment like a real scientist!
- What type of bag makes the best toaster powered hot air balloon?
- Could you add any weight to your hot air balloon and still launch it?
- How high can you get your hot air balloon to go?
- What else could you power your hot air balloon with? Would a hair-dryer work? Get an adult to help out!