If you’re reading this blog post, you probably already know how crazy popular fidget spinners have become in the last 3 months! It’s absolutely insane, but playing with these toys can be a great way to begin fidgeting in the world of science!
Fidget spinners work because of physics! That’s right! Kids sit, play and spin these toys, but may not understand why the fidget spinner can spin so freely and for such a long time. It’s rather simple! BEARINGS and torque! To begin understanding how it works, give this little experiment a try:
- Grab two large soup cans
- Stack them on top of one another
- Try turning the can on the top
- What happens? How does it feel?
- That sensation… that resistance… is what we call FRICTION! It’s the resistance that one surface or object encounters when moving over another.
- Now…Grab a few marbles and set them between the cans (You may need to wrap a small piece of cardboard around the seem to prevent the marbles from falling out).
- Try spinning the top can again.
- What happens? How does it feel now?
- The marbles act like bearings and help reduce friction and permit the can on top to spin freely.
This is what’s happening inside of the bearing of the fidget spinner. If you were to open the bearing in your fidget spinner, you’d see small little bearings in between the inner and outer rings which allows this fidget spinner to spin freely! Science is so cool!!!
So you might be saying to yourself, “Self, I want a fidget spinner!”
If you’re like every other American who has have fallen in love with these spinners, you can build your own at home for just a few dollars! Plus, it’s a great way to explore physics with your little scientists at home.
I’ve included two of my videos below that walk you through the process. Check out the videos and then head to your local skate shop – Zumbies at the North Fairfield Mall – to grab some cheap bearings and then “roll” with this experiment! Sorry, I couldn’t help but include that pun!
Building your own fidget spinner is so much fun because you can explore the world with these simple toys! Have fun and leave a comment here on the blog or visit my Facebook page www.facebook.com/originalmisterc to share a photo of your homemade fidget spinner!
Video: Make 5 Handy Spinners!
Video: Rubber Band Fidget Spinner