by Bob Shaw
Handkerchief, string, plastic toy soldier.
Cut four pieces of string to 50cm long each and tie them all together in a knot at one end. Tie each of the free ends to a corner of the handkerchief. Tie the soldier to the large knotted end. Throw the soldier from a height and the parachute will bring him smoothly to the ground!
It doesn't have to be a handkerchief, almost any light material will work as will a plastic bag or bin liner. The Soldier can be anything with a bit of weight, we like to use a clothes peg as more often than not the parachute is a little bit too efficient and gets carried away in the wind! If your not allowed to throw it out of your bedroom window you can carefully wrap the parachute around the outside of the soldier and through it in the air. If you have wrapped it correctly it will open once it starts to fall. This technique takes a bit of practice! Try making a six string chute from a hexagon shape.
In the First world war real parachutes were made from silk!
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