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The Kid Should See This

How to make a Pecking Bird Model, an exercise in gravity and friction

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Vintage woodpecker toys use gravity and friction to make the birds bounce, peck, flutter, and spin as they slide down the pole. These physics demonstration gadgets aren’t as easy to find as they used to be, but you can make your own with a wire hanger, a piece of plastic, plasticine or clay, and some creative additions.

Science educator and Curiosity Show co-host Rob Morrison shares how to make a Pecking Bird Model in this video.

“…and as Rob says, watch out for the sharp wire end while you are making it, and stick a ball of plasticine on the wire end to make it safe when you are finished.”

pecking bird
testing the plastic hole
Curiosity Show ran from 1972 to 1990 for school-age kids in Australia. Today, co-hosts Morrison and Deane Hutton share clips on their YouTube Channel since winning the rights to the show in 2012.

DIY pecking bird
Try another version made with string and paper: How to make a Wobbly Woodpecker physics toy.

Then make these Curiosity Show activities next:
How to write invisible ink messages
• Matchstick Triangle Puzzle
Raw Potato Physics Tricks
How to make a self-starting siphon
• The Magical, Mystical, Mind-Boggling Ames Window

Bonus: How to make DIY ramp walker physics toys.

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