free activities
Homemade Button Catcher Toy

Experiment with gravity with a button catcher! This simple homemade toy is similar to those used by children long ago before there were batteries, electric power, and even the computer. By using the natural forces of gravity, you can flip the button into the top of the tube. It’s not as easy as it looks!

What you need:

  • Paper towel or toilet paper tube
  • Hole-puncher
  • String or yarn
  • Masking tape or colored duct tape
  • Large button

What you do:

    1. Cover the paper towel/toilet paper tube with masking tape or duct tape for decoration.
      Punch a hole at the top of the tube about 1 inch down.
    2. Tie a piece of string or yarn through the hole. Make sure it measures at least 12 inches in length.
    3. Tie the button on the other end.
    4. Hold the bottom of the tube. Push up on the tube to swing the button into the air.
    5. Now, let gravity and some good ol’ fashioned eye-hand coordination catch the button in the tube.

Why does it work?

Gravity is the same force that keeps us from falling off the earth, basically, an attractive force between objects. By using your button catcher, you are playing with gravity’s downward pull. As the old adage says…“What goes up, must come down.”