Whoa mom, is that one of those balloon rockets? Tell me how that works again, something about laws of motion right? That’s almost word for word what my son said when he came home today and saw I had set up a variety of easy to manage Valentines Day physics activities for us to test out today for simple science and STEM.

VALENTINE’S DAY PHYSICS FOR KIDS

Get ready for the best Valentines Day science with a variety of easy to manage Valentines Day physics activities for us to test out today for simple science and STEM.

WHAT IS PHYSICS?

Hey parents! Don’t be intimidated by the word physics! Check out how easy these Valentines Day physics activities are! I include a little basic science with each one and at the very end is a printable shopping list. Have fun and play with your kids with easy physics!

Let’s keep it basic for our younger scientists. Physics is all about energy and matter and the relationship they share with one another. Like all sciences, physics is all about solving problems and figuring out why things do what they do. Kids are great for questioning everything anyway.

In these Valentines Day physics activities you are going to learn a little bit about static electricity, Newton’s 3 Laws of Motion, simple machines, and buoyancy, all with easy household supplies.

Encourage your kids to make predictions, discuss observations, and re-test their ideas if they don’t get the desired results the first time. Science always includes an element of mystery that kids naturally love to figure out!

WHY VALENTINES DAY PHYSICS?

Of course, you can do these simple Valentines day physics activities and ideas without a theme, but we love to celebrate the holidays. It’s actually a fun way to repeat basic concepts through out the year. Each time your kids will remember and learns a little bit more!

CHECK OUT: VALENTINES DAY CHEMISTRY FOR KIDS!

Let’s get started with our ideas for amazing Valentine’s Day physics experiments for kids! Super fun, easy to set up, cheap, and very playful! Kids will have a blast and actually learn something.

CLICK HERE FOR A FREE PRINTABLE VALENTINE STEM CALENDAR & JOURNAL PAGES!

5 AMAZING VALENTINES DAY PHYSICS IDEAS FOR KIDS

Each physics activity below includes set up instructions, play and learn ideas and some basic science. Let’s get started!

Valentines Day Physics Activities: Balloon Rocket and Newton's 3rd Law of Motion Action Reaction

1. FLYING CUPID BALLOON ROCKET LAUNCHER

Get kids thinking about how things go by setting up this super simple balloon rocket physics activity that is more like play!

SUPPLIES:

BALLOON ROCKET SET UP:

  1. Locate two anchor points across the room from each other. We used two chairs.
  2. Measure and cut a length of string to fit the distance.
  3. Tie off one end of the string.
  4. Thread the straw onto the other end of the string before tying off that end on the 2nd anchor point. Make sure the string is taught between the two points. Though check our experiment notes for more ideas!
  5. Cut out our cupid or draw your own. You could even use a sharpie to draw one on the side of the balloon.
  6. Blow up the balloon and secure with a clothespin if desired or just hold it.
  7. Tape your paper cupid to the balloon.
  8. Tape the balloon to the straw. You can see how we did that in the picture below.

BALLOON ROCKET ACTION:

Either release the clothespin or your fingers and watch cupid fly! Note what happens! Once your balloon has reached the other end of the string, slide it back. You may need to readjust or fix tape. Blow the balloon up and try again. Learn other ways to experiment below.

Valentines Day Physics Activities: Balloon Rocket

HOW DOES THE BALLOON ROCKET WORK?

So how exactly does Cupid get its go? It’s all about the thrust and Newton’s Third Law of Motion that for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.

Let’s start with thrust. You blow up the balloon, so now it’s filled with gas. When you release the balloon the air/gas escapes creating a forward pushing motion called thrust! Thrust is created by the energy released from the balloon.

Then, you can bring in Sir Isaac Newton. For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. This is the third law of motion. When the gas is forced out of the balloon it pushed back against the air outside the balloon which then pushes the balloon forward!

Kids will love testing out this science concept over and over again, and you can easily turn it to an experiment for the older kids by adjusting the variables. You can even add a stopwatch!

Test out different shaped balloons. Change the angle, tightness, or even type of string! Talk about what happens fig your string is droopy or if the string is as thick as the diameter of the straw opening. How do those factors change the movement of the balloon?

Try a flying cupid race and set up two strings. Have the kids race their balloon rockets!

Valentines Day Physics Activities: Build a catapult simple machine with lever and test a variety of items for best launching capability!

2. HEART CATAPULT

Let’s build a simple machine to launch our hearts. Add an additional element of fun and learning by testing the weights of different materials to launch.

SUPPLIES:

To build this craft stick catapult, you can check out our original catapult design or just look at the pictures. It really is super simple but loads of fun.

  • 10 Jumbo Craft Sticks
  • 3 Rubber Bands
  • Bottle Cap and Super Glue or Hot Glue (this step is optional but it does help your launch items stay in place!
  • Launch Items (marshmallows, candy hearts, plastic hearts, erasers, pompoms, and other small items)

SET UP:

Build your catapult as seen below. Stack 8 craft sticks on top of one another and secure both ends tightly. Wedge the 9th stick between the last and next to last stick in a perpendicular fashion. Finish off with one stick on the top of the stack. Secure the ends of those two sticks with a rubber band as seen below.

Glue on your plastic bottle top if desired and set up the launch items.

ACTION:

Hold down the catapult with one hand while pushing down the top part of the lever with the other hand. Release and watch your items fly. Check out a little science below.

Valentines Day Physics Activities: Build a heart launcher catapult

HOW DOES A CATAPULT WORK?

This is a great physics activity for kids of multiple ages. What is there to explore that has to do with physics? Let’s start with energy including elastic potential energy. You can also learn about projectile motion.

Plus you are playing around with a simple machine. The stack of 8 craft sticks acts as the fulcrum point. If you move the stack farther from where you are pushing down, you get a better launch. If you move it closer, you get a weaker launch or none at all. It uses the components of a simple lever machine to work!

You can talk about stored energy or potential elastic energy as you pull back on the popsicle stick, bending it. When you release the stick all that potential energy is released into energy in motion producing the projectile motion.

A catapult is a simple machine that has been around for ages. Have your kids dig up a little history and research when the first catapults were invented and used! Hint check out the 17th century!

MAKE IT A SCIENCE EXPERIMENT

You can easily set up an experiment by testing different weighted items to see which ones fly farther. Adding a measuring tape encourages simple math concepts that my 2nd grader is really starting to explore.

Always start out asking a question to come up with a hypothesis. Which item will go farther? I think ______ will go farther. Why? Have fun setting up a catapult to test the theory! Can you design a different catapult?

Have your kids fire each material {such as plastic hearts, erasers, cloth hearts or pompoms} 10 times and record the distance each time. What kinds of conclusions can they draw from the information gathered? Which item(s) works best? Which item(s) does not?

Valentines Day Physics Activities: Buoyancy activity with tin foil boats

3. SINK THE LOVE BOAT

Buoyancy is another fun physics activity to explore. Most kids love adding a water element to their learn and play time too. Also check out our penny boat challenge!

SUPPLIES:

  • Aluminum Foil
  • 30 Pennies
  • Bowl of Water (large enough to float the boat)
  • Additional Themed Items (optional if you want to compare results with different objects)

SET UP:

  1. Cut two 8″ squares of aluminum foil
  2. Fill a bowl with water and place it on a table.
  3. Shape one piece of tin foil into a boat with little sides. We made a heart since we are all about Valentine’s Day physics right now!

ACTION:

Start by having your kids place 15 pennies on the square of tin foil (not the boat) and have them ball it up and place it in the water. What happens?

Next, have your kids try to float their aluminum foil boat. Slowly add the 15 pennies. What happens this time with the same amount of weight and same size piece of foil? Read the science below!

Valentines Day Physics Activities: buoyancy activity with tin foil boats

HOW DOES IT WORK?

Our love boat Valentines day physics activity is all about buoyancy, and buoyancy is how well something floats. Have you seen our salt water science experiment?

You have already noticed that you saw two different results when you used the same amount of pennies and the same size piece of foil. Both items weighed the same. There’s one big difference, size.

The ball of foil and pennies take up less room and there is not enough upward force pushing up on the ball to keep it afloat. However, the love boat takes up a greater surface area so it has more force pushing up on it!

You can keep going and see how many pennies it actually takes to sink your boat. Can you build a stronger love boat? This is a great physics activity with a fun STEM challenge extension.

Valentines Day Physics Activities: Static Electricity with charged balloon and paper hearts

4. FLOATING HEARTS

Can you make paper hearts float up off a table or literally jump right off the table or even form towers? For such a simple to set up physics activity, this was one of my son’s favorite Valentines day physics activities. Static electricity is shockingly cool science.

SUPPLIES:

  • Balloon
  • Construction Paper (or colored copy paper)

SET UP:

  1. Cut out small hearts from your construction paper.
  2. Blow up a balloon but not all the way. All you need is for it to be big enough for your kids to hold comfortably and be able to see what’s happening.

ACTION:

First, you need to charge your balloon. My son chose to rub it in his hair. Try to go in one direction.

Next, place the balloon near the hearts but don’t put it on the hearts. You will see the hearts jumping or floating up to the balloon. The hearts will even tag hearts to follow along. We built towers! Read the science below.

Valentines Day Physics Activities: Static Electricity with Balloons

HOW DOES STATIC ELECTRICITY WORK?

Why are the hearts jumping up to the balloon all on their own? They aren’t really because they are getting a boost from the static electricity! This is also great for exploring chemistry and matter. Paper is matter and matter is made up of atoms!

When you rub the balloon in your hair you gave it a negative charge. The electrons from your hair flowed onto the portion of the ballon that was touching your hair.

Matter is made up of atoms that have both negative (electrons) and positive (nucleus) parts. You transferred some of the negative to the ballon.

The negatively charged balloon is then able to attract the positive parts of the paper hearts which cause them to jump to the balloon!

Valentines Day Physics Activities: Dancing Candy Buoyancy and Matter Activity

5. DANCING CANDY HEARTS

Can you make candy dance? We have even tried this with raisins, cranberries, and even popping corn.

SUPPLIES:

  • Tiny Heart Shaped Candy
  • Club Soda
  • Clear Glass

SET UP:

Fill your glass about 2/3 of the way with club soda.

ACTION:

Drop in a few candies, watch, and wait. Every so often we added more candy and a bit of club soda. What do you see happening? Read the science below.

Valentines Day Physics Activities: Dancing Candy Buoyancy Matter Experiment

WHAT MAKES CANDY DANCE?

Can you change the buoyancy of something? Yes, you can! Initially, you observed that the candies sunk to the bottom because they are heavier than the water. However, the club soda has gas in it which you can see with the bubbles.

The bubbles attach themselves to the surface of the candy and lift it up! When the candy reaches the surface, the bubbles pop and the candy falls back down. You do have to be a little patient at times to observe this happening!

You can create your own gas with a baking soda and vinegar experiment that we tried here with popping corn. It’s also quite fun to watch.

BONUS: HEART CUP TOWER CHALLENGE

This isn’t really physics but I thought it would be a fun STEM activity to share with you since it also uses super simple supplies, and we had a blast with it! Can you build a heart cup tower?

SUPPLIES:

  • Mini Red Cups (or large ones if you are feeling adventurous)
  • Cardboard Strips
  • Scissors

SET UP:

Cut out a variety of cardboard strips and set out a stack of cups!

ACTION:

Encourage your kids to use their design and engineering skills to build a heart cup tower. It took us a few tries, but we finally got the design right! Our cat wasn’t so helpful.

We truly hope you have a blast with these simple Valentines Day physics activities and experiments! I know we enjoyed playing around with them. Plus, you can see how easy it is to bring the holidays or seasons into your learning time!

HAVE AWESOME FUN WITH VALENTINE’S DAY PHYSICS

Click on the image below or on the link for all our Valentine science experiments.