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The Kid Should See This

Tumbling Soda Bottle, a DIY physics toy

Make your own Tumbling Soda Bottle physics toy. This how-to video by retired physics teacher Bruce Yeany shares each step of how to turn a smooth plastic bottle, two pencils, and some sort of weight—small balls, water, dish soap, or anything else—into a DIY tumbling toy.

After he shares how to make the bottle, he demonstrates how to create stair-step grooved rails with cardboard, a material that’s easy to find and use for small construction projects. Watch how he tests the rail structure to find the tipping-point angle for the bottle.

making the tumbling toy
testing the toy with cardboard rails
If you want to make something more permanent, he provides tips for building in wood frame and suggestions some variations on the project. Helpful items include an X-acto knife, glue gun, and cardboard.

Alternative materials can include straws, a drill, food coloring, dish soap, a saw, and wood. Teaming up with a grown-up is recommended for some of the build activities.

bottle variations
Or skip the build with Yeany’s second teaching video on the tumbling toys. It’s filled with demonstrations.


Watch these related videos next on TKSST: Minesaki Sougo’s Tumbling Doll and The Slinky Machine: A hand-cranked, wooden Slinky escalator.

Then watch more science projects with Bruce Yeany:
How to make DIY ramp walker physics toys
Make Lissajous patterns with DIY sand pendulums or light
• A home made string shooter & slow moving waves in rope

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