Sunday, June 3, 2012

Spinning Tops - Fun Summer Toy or Educational Tool ?

Are Spinning Tops a fun toy for kids or an education tool?

Spinning Tops

The answer is BOTH!

The Spinning Top is a fun toy that can be spun on its axis and balances on a point. It has been around for a looooong, loooooong time!  Spinning tops originated in ancient cultures and have been found on archaeological sites.

Based on National Science Standards, learning about MOTION and FORCES is now being taught to children in grades K-2. The vocabulary words "push" and "pull" are used with these young students.

Children can explore MOTION by experimenting with tops. Parents/teachers could set out some tops for kids to explore. They could be encouraged to try to spin the top. If they are having difficulties the adult could demonstrate how to spin a top.... twirling/pushing the stem (top) using your fingers.

The children could observe that the more force/energy that is used, the longer the top will spin. If you have more than one kind of top, students could compare and observe which spins longer. Students could have contests to observe which spinning top spins the longest.

There's a lot of science (physics) in this activity but to the kids it will just be lots of fun and they'll be able to hear and maybe start to understand and use some of the science vocabulary: motion, force, and push.

A follow up activity would be to investigate the spinning motion of a hula hoop!!!

Have fun this summer!


  1. Hey there! Love your blog! I found you via the MMM blog hop and just added myself to your followers! Also I wanted to invite you to come enter a fabulous Steve Madden giveaway I'm having right now!!
    Hope to see you there! And thanks so much lady!

  2. Another great science idea for my hubby. Thanks Marcia!

    1. Thanks for stopping by. Hope you are enjoying the start of summer. :)

  3. I love tops, they're so much fun!

  4. Oh, how fun! Love that you tie in the science behind it as well. Thanks for sharing at Sharing Saturday!



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