Games, Plants and Animals

The elusive bat

Bats are very fast animals, they can fly at a speed of 52-55 km/h. We will try to recreate the flight of a bat using a simple physics experiment.

Goal: to familiarize with the concept of speed and to introduce children through a physics experiment to the subject of how do bats move

Time: 15-30 minutes.


  • black paper
  • bat templates from the “Night Patrol” exercise
  • pencil
  • scissors
  • double-sided tape
  • a drinking straw
  • thick thread
  • a balloon to inflate

Task flow

It is best to do this task in a group of several people, because you will need the help of several hands.

  1. One child traces the bat template or draws the shape of the bat themselves (in the case of an older child) and cuts it out.
  2. Meanwhile, another child cuts off 10 cm piece of a drinking straw and pass a thread through it (depending on the size of the balloon, the thread can be longer, e.g. 3-5 meters, see step below). The child who cut out the bat sticks it to the tube from above, the easiest way is to use double-sided tape.
  3. Both ends of the thread can be tied to furniture or other heavy objects, but it will be easiest if the ends of the thread are held by children; it is important that the thread is taut.
  4. Another child blows up the balloon but does not tie it. They stick the balloon to the straw with double-sided tape. They can ask an adult for help, because the quality of this step affects the success of the experiment.

And the last step, the child holding the balloon, releases it, and the bat, set in motion by the air that comes out of the balloon, begins to fly at breakneck speed. With older children, you can count in what time the bat covered what distance. It will be his speed.

The post was created as part of a project co-financed by Deutsche Bundesstiftung Umwelt in cooperation with Naturschutzzentrum Oberlausitzer Bergland.

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