Updated: Jun 9
This DIY balloon CD hovercraft activity is super easy, and loads of fun. Kids (with help from an adult) will build their very own hovercraft using only a balloon, a CD, and a few common household materials. As you have fun building your craft, you'll need to use science, engineering, and creativity solving to complete your masterpiece.
Once you complete the four steps below, you can race your hovercraft against friends, measure how far your craft can float, modify it to fly further - the sky's the limit!
HOW DOES A HOVERCRAFT WORK?
A hovercraft is a vehicle that floats above a surface. In order to hover, currents of air need to push down beneath the craft. This creates a cushion that the craft can float on top of.
And that's just how your balloon hovercraft will work too! Air from the balloon will release through the middle of your CD, and push down on the surface. This will cause your craft to hover until all the air in your balloon runs out!
WHAT YOU'LL NEED
Blank CD or DVD (or one you don't like anymore!)
Pop top from a water bottle, sports drink, bottle of dish soap, or whatever you have around the house!
Hot glue gun
Art stuff to decorate your CD! (Stickers, markers, glitter, paint)
STEP 1: DECORATE YOUR CD
First things first - let's get creative! Place your CD shiny side-up, so the label is facing down.
Then it's time to get creative! Make your hovercraft your own by decorating it with googly eyes, drawings, paintings, glitter, stickers - you name it!
STEP 2: ATTACH YOUR POP TOP
Grab an adult - it's time to break out the hot glue gun! Ask them to carefully put a ring of glue around the rim of the pop top, and press it into the middle of the CD.
Then, put another ring of glue around the edge of the attached cap to make sure the seal is airtight. This is very important - we don't want your hovercraft leaking air!
STEP 3: ATTACH YOUR BALLOON
Time to complete your hovercraft! First, choose your favorite balloon and grab an adult to help you inflate it.
Then, pinch the neck of the balloon to keep the air in. While you pinch, stretch the neck of the balloon over the top of your pop top. Pull it down as far as it can go.
STEP 4: SEE WHAT YOUR HOVERCRAFT CAN DO!
Finally - let's hover that craft! All you need to do is gently lift the pop top from the rest of the cap, and let go of the neck of the balloon.
This will allow the air to flow from the balloon, through the middle of the CD, and down against the surface. The air will create a cushion that your CD will float on top of.
Now, let's see what your hovercraft can do! Try racing your balloon hovercraft against friends, make modifications to see how you can make it fly further, measure your longest flight... if you're having fun, you're doing it right!
MORE DIY STEAM PROJECTS
Want to see more fun, educational DIY activities you can make at home, with stuff laying around the house? It's never a dull moment at IDEA Collective! Click here to see more free art and science projects for kids that will have your family laughing as they learn!