This is Frankenstein. His friends call him Frank. He’s excited to go Trick-or-Treating but he has a small problem.
Can you design a zip line that will take him from the top of the mountain all the way to the bottom by his front gate so he can go Trick-or-Treating with his friends?
Supplies You’ll Need:
- Binder clip
- Four Toilet Paper Rolls
- Black Plastic Cup (Witch’s Cauldron)
- Food Dye
Before You Start:
Map out your zip line area but choose your space carefully! We recommend the space be at least 4 feet in length and should be tall enough for Frankenstein to zip down without running into the witch’s cauldron, haunted tree, or the hungry werewolf!
Select one end of the zip line area to have Frankenstein’s Castle. Encourage your kids to build the castle using materials already in your house (with Legos, blocks, or by drawing a picture of the castle). Remember: The castle should be high up (keeping in mind safety).
The other end of the zip line area should be the gate! Have your kids construct the gate – this can be a 3d structure or a simple drawing!
You’ll make the actual zip line later on so once you have an area cleared for the activity, print off the Frankenstein Zip Line Challenge template above and begin the steps below!
Step One: Make Your Frankenstein
- Cut out your Frankenstein along the green square. Color in his face!
- Take the binder clip and clip it to the top of Frankenstein’s head.
Step Two: Make Your Witch’s Cauldron
- You can use a tiny witch’s cauldron decoration or a small black cup!
- Pour two or three drops of green food dye into the cup (or cauldron).
- Add water!
- Place the Witch’s Cauldron in the zip line area.
Step Three: Make Your Haunted Tree
- Draw a spooky face on one of the toilet paper rolls.
- Poke holes at the top half of the toilet paper roll.
- Insert pipe cleaners into these holes. (They represent the haunted tree’s branches)
- Place the Haunted Tree in the zip line area.
Step Four: Make Your Hungry Werewolf
- Cut out the werewolf square and the tombstones from the Frankenstein Zip Line Challenge template.
- Glue the werewolf square to one side of a toilet paper roll and set aside.
- Cut one toilet paper roll in half (so it makes two smaller toilet paper rolls).
- Glue the tombstones to the toilet paper rolls.
- Place the werewolf and tombstones on the zip line area.
Make Your Zip Line
- Cut a long piece of string (at least 4 ft. in length).
- Tape one end of the string by Frankenstein’s gate at the bottom of the zip line area.
- Place the other end of the string through the paperclip loop of your cut-out Frankenstein. Let him rest at the bottom of the gate!
- Pull the string tight and run it up to Frankenstein’s Castle. Tape it tight!
- Pull your Frankenstein cut-out to the top of the castle and test your zip line out!
Note: You might have to adjust the height of your zip line to make Frankenstein reach the bottom – and without him running into your challenges!
This activity allows your kids to build a simple zip line that uses gravity and inertia.
Here are some useful terms to know because each of these components has an impact on how fast the Frankenstein cutout travels along the zip line. Depending on your child’s age and experience, these are things to keep in mind as you go about designing and building a zipline.
Acceleration: How long does it take for the Frankenstein cutout to gain enough speed to get to the other side of the zipline? Extend the activity by timing the trip! How long did it take for your Frankenstein to get to the gate of the castle? What would happen if you increased the height of the castle? Factors like slope and friction can have an impact on acceleration.
Gravity: The force that pulls us toward the center of the Earth is the main source of “fuel” for the zipline. In this case, gravity is pulling your Frankenstein cutout towards the ground along a slope (zip line).
Friction: As the Frankenstein cutout glides along the string of the zip line, friction, or the rubbing of the two objects, can slow the speed at which it travels. What can you do to the string of the zip line to increase the speed of the Frankenstein cutout?
Slope: The angle formed by the starting point (Frankenstein’s castle) and the endpoint (castle gates). If the Frankenstein cutout is going faster or slower than desired, consider adjusting the slope to get the results you’re looking for.
Speed: How quickly or slowly the object travels down the zip line.
Weight: The mass of the Frankenstein cutout can have an impact on the speed at which it travels down the zip line. What would happen if you taped a paperclip to the bottom of the Frankenstein cutout?
A young Swiss student discovers the secret of animating lifeless matter and, by assembling body parts, creates a monster who vows revenge on his creator after being rejected from society.