How many of these items do you already have? We’ve tried to keep it simple for you by making the majority of the items things most people have within reach (both physically and budget-wise).

You do not need to do ALL the experiments – just pick the ones you want to do! Look over the experiments and note which items are needed, and off you go!

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  • Water
  • Bathtub or sink
  • Bowl
  • Scrap of paper towel
  • 2 clear cups
  • 25 straws
  • Small lump of clay
  • 3 balloons
  • 2 thumbtacks
  • Plastic funnel
  • Ping pong ball
  • Plastic garbage bag
  • Red and blue food coloring
  • 20 sheets of 8 ½” x 11” paper
  • Pencil
  • Rubber band
  • Popsicle stick
  • 2 small paper clips
  • 2 identical water glasses
  • 10 index cards (large enough to cover the mouth of the water glass)
  • 3 empty soda cans
  • Empty glass jar
  • Empty 2-liter soda bottle
  • 2 empty water bottles
  • 12” flexible tubing (or use a flexible straw)
  • Matches with adult help
  • Test tube
  • 2-liter soda bottle


  • Scissors
  • Tongs
  • Tape
  • Duct tape
  • Hair dryer
  • Stove with adult help


The projects that require these items are either more expensive or harder to build and require adult help. Watch the videos before shopping for these items!

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15 Responses to “Flying Machines Shop List”

  1. Mai Dwaikat says:

    Hi Aurora,

    From where I can order a bird toy like the one you have in the introductory video?

  2. I got mine from the craft store in town – it’s very lightweight. You can try a hobby store, or even a hardware store.

  3. Lorelei Grecian says:

    Where can you get balsa wood i have looked everywhere and can not find any at all.

  4. Maria Wright says:

    My kids are so excited to get started! Their last day of school is tomorrow, and we will probably start the first unit on Friday. I went to my local thrift store today and picked up a lot of odd things on the supply lists. It’s especially a good place to find things like pots, tongs, etc. for cheap when you don’t want to use your nice kitchen ones for the experiment. I found a whole bag full of stuff for $4!

  5. Jennifer Wright says:

    We decided to ask our neighbors for the items we do not have at home, like milk jug lids 🙂 Thankfully, there are resources all around us!

  6. MaryAnna Cashmore says:

    Only one experiment actually *needs* a soda can. That’s the crushed can experiment. The other experiment, the “soda can trick,”
    which calls for two soda cans, can be done using two empty toilet paper rolls and one straw (instead of 25).
    Although this alternative might not be as amazing as it would be with soda cans, I think it still works well to demonstrate the same scientific principle..
    See the comment under that experiment for more details.

    Aurora, correct me if I’m wrong, but I think the bathtub can be basically anything large enough to scoop up water into two or three cups at a time. I think you could use your kitchen sink, or a plastic bucket or other large plastic tub/container, or a large salad bowl, or even your local lake or swimming pool…. Although for those who have a bathtub already, I can imagine that it would be handy and fun. 🙂

  7. Hi Darlene,

    Thanks for writing. I am sorry you’re having trouble finding the materials for the projects. You don’t need to get all the materials together before you start any of the projects – in fact, here are several that only use a sheet of paper:

    And this one uses a glass of water and an index card:

    And this one doesn’t use anything at all:

    We don’t have any premade material kits available, but if you’re looking for an all-in-one package, you might want to get one of our science kits instead as they include the video instructions, DVDs, and parts you need. Our best-seller is the Electricity and Robotics Kit.

    Happy experimenting,

  8. Darlene Neilson says:

    Aurora, I am signed up for E- camp- do you have premade boxes of items needed to do the experiments- I just don’t have the time to find it all. So, we haven’t done anything….

    Just wondering,
    Darlene Neilson

  9. Yes, you’ll need to make sure they don’t set their paper airplane on fire when trying to find the center of pressure.

  10. Rani John says:

    I really like your ideas. Well, I think I should help my child with the hair dryer.

  11. Sorry you’re having trouble finding certain items… and I certainly don’t want you spending $25 for a can! Are there any recycling bins you have access to – yours or a friend’s? That’s where we get a lot of our bottles and cans for the workshops when we have hundreds of kids. Since soda is so expensive, you can substitute beer cans (although we don’t advertise that for obvious reasons…), but you can use those if that’s a better option for you.

    If all else fails, just skip the project for now and continue on to another… there’s plenty on the site!

  12. Rani John says:

    Aurora, you seem crazy using a bathtub for an experiment! Thank goodness we have one. But I have a doubt. What kind of bathtub do I need? Are you asking for a claw foot (I hope not!) or one that comes with the house?

    – Rani John

  13. Rani John says:

    Aurora, again, soda is a problem, especially when you are on a DIET. That is another reason for my refusal on both soda bottles and cans!

    – Rani John

  14. Rani John says:

    Dear Aurora,
    I don’t have any empty soda cans, and I can’t buy soda because 1 can is $25.00 (which is very expensive in our family)! You said that we can pick our child’s experiments and do them, so can we not do the one that involves the soda cans?

    – Rani John