Carolyn from The Barefoot Babies shared with us her "Trajectory Schema: Cars Edition" craft featuring Natural Earth Paints!
"If you’ve been following me for a while, you will know that E is currently fascinated by the trajectory schema. This refers to play where kids just *need* to throw objects on repeat. Contrary to how it may feel - they’re not doing this to annoy you. They’re actually trying to understand how objects move through space and learn about force and gravity.
To help E explore these concepts, I set up this car track painting activity. He investigated how the size of the cars and the slope & length of the slides changed how quickly and far the cars travelled. And he made some pretty beautiful art in the process!
Level up this activity for older kids by incorporating measurement and graphing. Is there a correlation between slope and distance? Or add a time element - is there a relationship between slope, speed, and distance? What happens if you apply some form of resistance to the slide or drag to the cars with leaves or sticks? What’s the equation of the line? Can you calculate the velocity of the car? Okay, okay, now I’m just joking. But seriously - you can actually teach high school math with this activity (my husband is a high school math teacher and he told me I could say that!).
For this activity, we used our Natural Earth Paint. Because it’s 100% washable and eco-friendly, I didn’t need to feel guilty about spilling the paint on the grass or worry about ruining our clothes or E’s cars. I also love that it’s completely non-toxic and made from natural mineral pigments and cornstarch!"
For this activity, you'll need:
- Natural Earth Paint
- Toy Cars
- Sheets of Paper
1. Mix up some Natural Earth Paint on a flat surface.
Make sure that your little learner can fit a toy car onto the surface you've mixed your paint on! They can even mix the paint themselves for some added fun.
2. Set up your paper.
The Barefoot Babies used a playground slide for their trajectory craft, but you can also place your paper on flat ground or any flat, sloped surface.
3. Dip the toy car in the Natural Earth Paint.
Make sure to get plenty of paint on the wheels so that the car tracks will be visible on the paper.
4. Get rolling!
Allow your little one to push or roll the toy car over your flat surface; if you've got enough paint, the toy will leave tiny tracks over the paper you've placed there! Try it with as many slopes, cars, and paint colors as you'd like, and above all, have fun!