You’ll stun your kids with the way a penny doesn’t move in these games, a fantastic illustration of inertia. You can give a quick physics lesson – basically, things that aren’t moving want to stay put – but whether they grasp the concept or not, they’ll be amazed by the results.
We tried out the motion magic in two ways. For the first, we cut a square of cardboard as a base (using a bit of our Kiwi Crate from the Disk Launchers set). Place the cardboard over a glass, and put a penny on top.
Quickly flick the cardboard away (from the side, not from underneath). The cardboard will fly away but the penny…
…falls in the glass! This got a whoa from Travis, who then tried himself and was so proud it worked.
There is something sort of magical about inertia, even for grown-ups. Logically we want that penny to fly away, and every time we heard the clink of the penny in the glass, we were excited.
For the second method, we cut a strip from cardstock. Form it into a circle and staple the edges.
Place the circle over the glass, with the penny on top.
Very quickly, put a finger inside the cardstock circle and flick it out of the glass. Where did our penny go?
Want to really up the wow factor? Try the classic trick of pulling a tablecloth out from under a plate (you might want to use a paper plate, just in case).
Is it magic? Nope, it’s inertia of course.