Head to the slopes without leaving your house! These printable sleds can race down a slick sledding hit and you get to customize them for ultimate speed. Making a regular sled super fast could be a little dangerous, but these are 100% STEM fun!
By adding some extra weight or slippery straws to the different sled shapes, you can find the best combination. Then you just need to set up a poster board slide for the indoor sled race of a lifetime!
Besides the actual racing, the most fun thing about this project is trying out what it will take to make your sled the fastest—and then guessing which one will win!
Print your sled, grab a few tools, and get ready to race!
- Card Stock
- Folded Towel
- Poster Board
- Printable sleds
Print the sleds on card stock. There are two pages with different colors to choose from (and so you can tell them apart if you use the same style sled). Cut out the sleds.
For the sled with runners, fold the two sides down.
To shape the saucer sled, place it on a folded towel. Use a spoon to round the edges.
The sides of the saucer should flare up a little all around. This will help it side down the hill.
Shape the sides and front of the torpedo sled with a spoon on a towel. You can also give it a little extra curve by rolling it into a tube.
Just like the saucer, the sides of the sled should lift up. You don’t want it to be completely flat.
Trim a piece of poster board so it’s about 14 inches wide. Fold up the two long edges. This will keep the poster board stiff on the edges so you can set it up as your sledding hill.Set up one end of the poster board on a low container or a stack of books.
Set a few of the sleds at the top of the hill. To get them going you can either give them a nudge or start lifting the top of the hill a little.
Which sled made it down first? If your sleds are like ours, this first go may not have been as speedy as you want. Now it’s time to get creative!
Think about what might make these slow down. The friction of card stock rubbing on poster board is one of those things.Cut some pieces of straw and glue them to the bottom of a sled. Will paper or plastic work better? Which direction should you place them?
How does the weight of your sled affect its speed? Try setting a penny on top! Or what happens if you glue or tape a coin to the bottom of the sled?
A smooth surface area helps things go fast. How about adding some slickness to the bottom of the folded sled runners?
Start by cutting a slit down the side of the straws
Then slide them over the bottom edges.
Now you can try another race and see what worked…or didn’t!
You can also combine a few techniques to make these faster still. Or try changing the slope of your poster board hill and see how that might change things. This is all about experimenting to find the best results!