Physics is the branch of science that typically deals with the study of various phenomena and laws of the universe. It helps a person understand the nature, basic characteristics, and properties of different forms of matter and energy present in the universe. Physics can be further classified into various subcategories such as astrophysics, classical physics, experimental physics, nuclear physics, biophysics, quantum mechanics, condensed matter physics, particle physics, chemical physics, plasma physics, and many more. Learning physics with the help of textbooks, journals, and research papers is quite a tedious task; however, one can easily understand the basic concepts of physics by playing games.
Examples of Fun Physics Games for Kids
There are a variety of games available in the market that make use of basic physics concepts, theories, and phenomena. Some examples of physics-related games are listed below:
1. Building Blocks
Building blocks game is a prominent example of the physics toys that help a child learn about the fundamentals of physics in a fun and easy way. It typically consists of a set of blocks that are constructed in different shapes and sizes. The main idea behind the game is to creatively construct architectures with the help of different blocks. The concept of gravitational force, muscular force, friction, etc. can be explained easily with the help of building block toys. Playing construction games such as building blocks can help a child improve his/her motor skills as well as the hand to eye coordination.
Yoyo is a classic example of game objects that can help a child understand the basic concepts of physics. The main trick behind playing yoyo is to wrap a string around the bob multiple times, hold one end of the string firmly, and release the bob in a vertical direction with force. This results in the production of a reaction force that acts in opposite direction and has a magnitude equal to the magnitude of the action force, thereby causing the yoyo bob to roll upwards. Playing yoyo tends to demonstrate the tension force, gravity, conservation of momentum, muscular force, the rotatory motion of objects, action-reaction force, and various other concepts in real life.
A boomerang is yet another physics toy that demonstrates the concept of curvilinear motion, translation of rectilinear motion into curvilinear motion, and various other physics-related phenomena in real life. A boomerang is typically constructed in the shape of the English alphabet ‘V’; however, other types of boomerangs such as tri-bladed boomerangs are also available in the market.
Most of the children love to play on swings. It can be easily observed that along with being a great source of amusement, playing on the swing is also one of the best activities that help a child understand the physics concepts such as oscillatory motion of objects, muscular force, tension force, etc.
5. Dominoes Blocks
The dominoes blocks game is one of the best physics games for the intellectual development of children. It consists of a number of colourful blocks of the same shape and size. The main aim of the game is to lay the blocks one after the other in a particular pattern. After completing the layout, the end block is gently pushed in such a way that it strikes the adjacent block. The transfer of motion from one block to the other causes the entire layout to collapse. The first player to make and destroy the structure is supposed to loudly announce “Dominoes!” and is declared the winner of the game. Dominoes block game particularly helps a child comprehend and observe the concept of transfer and transformation of energy and motion, law of conservation of energy and momentum, muscular force, etc. in real life.
6. Push Back Car Toys
A push back car toy typically works on the principle of Newton’s third law of motion. When a push back toy is moved on a rigid surface in a backward direction, the spring present in the internal structure of the toy tends to store the energy in the form of potential energy. When the toy is released, the potential energy gets converted into kinetic energy, which causes the toy to advance in the forward direction. It must be noted that the amount of force applied to the toy car or the action force is always proportional to the magnitude of the force with which the toy moves in the forward direction, i.e., the reaction force. This implies that a simple push back toy car can help a child practically look at some of the most important physics concepts such as force, conversion of energy, and translation of motion from one form to the other.
7. Spinning Top
Spinning tops are toys that are quite helpful in demonstrating basic physics related concepts to a child in a fun and easy way. The shape of a spinning top is generally curved from the centre and is pointed on both ends. The bottom portion of the spinning top is placed against a rigid base and the top is provided with a twisting force. This causes the spinning top to exhibit rotational motion along its axis. A child is able to practically infer and understand the logic behind various physics theories and concepts such as rotational motion, torsion force, friction, etc. by playing with a spinning top.
8. Hula Hoop
A hula hoop is a large ring, generally made up of plastic, that can be used by people of all age groups for amusement purposes or to perform exercises. The invention of the hula hoop game dates back to the year 1958. The prime objective of the game is to spin the hula hoop ring around the belly, neck, or arms continuously without letting it fall off. The player who maintains the spinning of the hula hoop for a longer duration tends to win the game. A child can perform various tricks as well as learn physics with the help of a hula hoop toy with great ease.
A frisbee game typically makes use of a circular disk. It was invented by a group of students of Columbia High School Maplewood, New Jersey in 1968. Frisbee is generally a two-player game, but it can also be played among more than two people. The people willing to play the game are required to form two separate groups and take positions in an open ground opposite each other. The players of both teams tend to pass the flying disk from one side to the other. If a team misses the catch, the opposite team earns a point. At the end of the game, the team with maximum points is declared the winning team. Frisbee is one of the best examples of the fun physics games that a child can play for amusement as well as for learning. Certain physics concepts explained by a frisbee include circular motion, rectilinear motion, drag, air resistance, the conversation of motion from one form to the other, translation of energy, etc. Other variants of the frisbee game such as flimsee, hot box, tips, Kan Jam, disc golf, etc. are also quite common.
10. Tug of War
By playing tug of war, a child is capable of understanding certain physics concepts such as balanced force, muscular force, equilibrium, etc. This is the reason why tug of war is one of the most popular physics games suited for people of all age groups including kids and adults.
A xylophone is a musical instrument that serves to be one of the best physics games for a child. The word xylophone is made up of two Greek words ‘xylon’ and ‘phone’ meaning wood and sound respectively. It consists of a wooden frame that has a set of wooden bars aligned in proper order. The size and composition of the wooden bars are the two factors that are responsible for the production of different frequency sounds. A xylophone is typically played with the help of a pair of mallets. The mallets are wooden sticks that have padded ends. The various physics concepts that a child can learn with the help of a xylophone include sound, vibrations, and frequency.
Jenga is yet another physics fun game that is best suited for people of all ages including kids as well as adults. It typically consists of 53 blocks made up of wood or plastic. The main aim of the game is to form a tall tower of all the blocks and remove the Jenga blocks one by one. After removing the block from the bottom or the base of the tower, it is placed on the top. If the tower collapses as the player remove the block, he/she gets disqualified. The last player that manages to remove the block without letting the tower collapse is declared the winner of the game. The physics concept that a child is capable of learning with the help of a Jenga game includes weight, the centre of mass, gravitational force, etc. Jenga game tends to enhance various personality development skills such as stability and focus in a person.
13. Roller Coaster Toys
Roller coaster toys are generally made up of plastic, wood, or steel. The construction of the roller coaster is done in such a way that its frame consists of various highs, lows, and loops. A roller coaster toy is generally provided with a small toy vehicle such as a toy car, toy train, etc. The toy tends to move on the tracks of the roller coaster either with the help of electricity or with the help of energy conversion from potential to kinetic form. The roller coaster toys tend to explain the physics concepts such as potential energy, kinetic energy, conversion of energy from one form to the other, air resistance, friction, rotatory motion of objects, etc.
14. Paper Cup Phone
Paper cup phone is yet another example of the physics toys that are most common among children of younger ages. The materials required to make a paper cup phone include two paper cups, a thread, a pair of scissors, and adhesive. The first step of making the toy is to make a small hole at the base of the paper cups. The second step is to pass a thread or a string through the holes in such a way that the bases of the cups are properly attached to each other via the thread. A paper cup phone toy is usually designed for two players, but it can be modified for more than two players. The rules of the game are simple. One of the player puts the phone in front of his/her mouth to deliver the secret message, while the other player holds the phone over his/her ear and tries to listen to the secret message. It should be noted that the string that ties the two cups together is properly taut and is not loose. The concept of transmission of sound energy from a source to the destination can be easily explained with the help of a paper cup phone toy.
15. Button Whirligig
A spinning button toy or a button whirligig is one of the classic examples of physics toys for kids. A child can easily make a button whirligig at home with the help of a string and a cloth button. To make a button whirligig at home, the ends of the string are required to be tied together forming a loop and a button is passed through both the ends of the string. The player tends to hold the string of the toy with both hands and pull the ends outwards. This tends to induce a circular motion into the button. The effect of centripetal and centrifugal force on objects in real life can be best demonstrated with the help of a button whirligig.
16. Fidget Spinner
A fidget spinner typically consists of a ball bearing disk present at its core. The outer structure of the fidget spinner consists of a frame that is usually made up of steel or plastic. It is a toy that is best suited for people of all age groups including children. A fidget spinner is known to enhance a child’s ability to focus on objects and improve his/her concentration. It is also helpful in providing therapy to children that suffer from ADHD, seizures, or various other mental disorders. A fidget spinner displays the circular motion of objects, rotation of objects, and various other physics-related concepts in one of the easiest ways possible.
17. Blow Balls
Blow ball toys are one of the prominent examples of physics fun toys for kids. Such toys generally contain a small basket that is attached to a piece of plastic straw. A ping pong ball is placed into the basket. The main aim of the game is to blow air into the straw and maintain the height at which the ball floats to a constant value. The player that manages to hold the ball in place for a longer duration tends to win the game.
18. Newton’s Cradle
Newtons cradle is one of the best physics toys suitable for children. A Newton’s cradle can also be used as as decorative item that helps demonstrate the concept of the law of conservation of energy in real life. It consists of a few metallic balls attached to the base of a metallic or wooden frame. The bobs are allowed to freely hang in the air at a suitable height above the base of the frame. To observe the conservation of energy in real life with the help of Newton’s cradle, the player tends to pull one of the bobs towards one side and release it after some time. The bob then hits the adjacent bob and triggers a transfer of energy from one bob to the other. As a result of energy transfer, the last bob gets displaced to the distance that is equal to the distance covered by the first bob.
19. Catapult Game
A catapult is a device that is used to launch objects in the air. It typically works on the principle of conversion of energy from one form to the other. A child can easily make a catapult at home with the help of materials such as cardboard pieces and rubber bands. Catapult games help a child understand the basic physics concepts such as the projectile motion of objects, elasticity, tension force, conversion of energy from one form to the other, etc. Some of the common catapult toys that are suitable for children include a line-up 4 toy. The main aim of a line-up four game is to line up at least four ping pong balls into the frame either horizontally or vertically by propelling them towards the target with the help of a catapult.
20. Magnetic Pick and Drop Game
Magnetic pick and drop games come in a variety of shapes and sizes. Typically, the console of a magnetic pick and drop game consists of a number of holes and metallic spherical balls. A magnetic handle is provided with the game set-up. The prime objective of the magnetic pick and drop game is to move the magnetic handle over the plastic spherical top of the console, attract the metal balls, and drop them into the holes. The player is considered to be the winner if he/she manages to drop all the metal balls into the holes present inside the game console.
21. Click and Catch Game
The click and catch game is one of the most prominent examples of physics fun games for kids. It is a multiplayer indoor game that consists of two or more catch ball cup holders and plastic balls. A click button is generally provided on the handle of the cup holder that launches the ball in the air when pressed. The main aim of the game is to toss the ball to and fro between the players till one of the players miss the catch. The first person to drop the catch tends to lose the game and the opposite player is declared as the winner.
22. Gravity Warfare
Gravity Warfare is one of the best physics fun games that help a child get a proper understanding of concepts such as gravitational force, the motion of objects, equilibrium, different types of forces in nature, and various other related concepts. It consists of a platform on which the player tends to form different structures with the help of materials such as cards, dice, sticks, gems, etc. The main objective of the game is to align and construct the structures on the base in such a way that they do not fall off the surface. This particular game helps a child improve his/her motor skills and decision-making ability.
23. Balance Board
A balance board is a curved wooden board that is shaped like the English alphabet ‘C’. Balance board is a fun physics game for kids that can be used by them in multiple ways. For instance, a child can stand on its surface and practice his/her balancing skills or he/she can also use the board as a curved surface to drive his/her toy vehicles, etc. Balance board or other balancing related games help a child learn about balancing forces in nature, equilibrium, the motion of objects, and various other physics-related aspects. Such games significantly improve the motor skills of a child.
24. Jumper Toys
Jumper toys are yet another example of fun physics games for kids. A jumping toy typically consists of a cushioned or spring base that is attached to footpegs on both sides. A vertical T shaped pillar is attached to the top of the arrangement. With the help of jump toys, children tend to practically learn the concept of spring action, restoration force, Newton’s third law of motion, etc. Such games also help escalate a child’s growth and stability.
25. Skipping Rope
Skipping ropes are a great source of amusement and serve to be a prime example of physics fun games for children. A skipping or jumping rope is usually made up of silicon, fibre, or plastic material and consists of two padded handles attached to the ends of the rope. The player tends to hold the rope from both ends, swing it over his/her head in a circular motion, jump over the rope when it reaches the ground, and repeat the process. Skipping the rope game is also suitable for more than one player. It helps a child learn the basic concepts of forces present in the universe, circular motion, uniform motion, etc.
26. Rocker Toys
The rocker toys are yet another example of fun physics toys suitable for kids. They help a child develop concepts regarding the force of friction, pressure, motion, to and fro movement of objects, air resistance, etc.
27. Hydraulic Robotic Hand
A child can easily make a hydraulic robotic hand with the help of easily materials such as cardboard, adhesive, syringes, vinyl tubing, etc. It helps a child practically understand the characteristics and properties of fluids, movement of joints, the transmission of fluids from a region of high pressure to a region of low pressure, etc. Also, a number of ready to make models of such toys are available in the market.
28. Steamboat Toy
Steamboat toys typically make use of conversion of energy from one form to the other, action-reaction force, and translation of pressure for their operation. Generally, steamboat toys are made up of steel. The basic working principle of a steamboat toy is quite similar to the principle of the Feynman sprinkler. The reaction force that helps a steamboat toy to advance in the forwarding direction is primarily produced by the pressure difference created due to the sucking in of the fluids such as water. Steamboat toys help a child get a clear understanding of the complex physics concepts in a fun and easy manner.
29. Flying Rotor Wheel
A flying rotor wheel toy is capable of demonstrating rotatory motion of objects, conversion of electrical energy to mechanical energy, air resistance, the force of friction, drag, and certain other physics-related concepts in real life. It can be operated either manually or with the help of an electric motor. The player while playing with a manual flying rotor wheel tends to hold the toy between both the palms, twist it a few times in clockwise and anticlockwise directions, and release it into the air. The motion-induced in the rotor wheel due to twisting is sustained in the object and helps it float in the air. Likewise, a motor powered flying rotor wheel floats in the air due to the conversion of electrical energy into mechanical energy.
30. Parachute Toy
A parachute toy is a fun physics toy that help a child observe and learn complex physics concepts easily while playing. such toys generally consist of a rigid plastic doll or figurine attached to a model parachute. The player is required to throw the toy in a vertically upward direction and observe it fall back to the ground. It provides a perfect small scale demonstration of the action of parachutes in real life. It also enables the user to learn about the air resistance, the gravitational pull of the earth, the effect of surface area on the flight of objects, time-distance relationship, etc.
31. Toss Toss Play Game
A toss toss play game is an outdoor game generally designed for two players. It primarily comprises two padded disks with straps attached to their bases and a playing ball. The players temporarily attach the disks to their hands and tend to toss the ball towards each other. The player that misses the shots maximum times loses the game, while the other person is declared the winner. A child can easily observe the projectile motion of the ball during the game. The discomfort that a player feels on the palm after catching the ball explains him/her the concept of action-reaction force in real life. Likewise, the action of the gravitational pull of the earth, force of friction, air resistance, etc. can be verified easily with the help of such games.
32. Walkie Talkie
A walkie talkie toy is yet another physics toy that helps a child understand basic physics concepts such as electromagnetic waves, wireless communication, the reflection of waves, characteristics of sound waves, etc.
33. Crystal Growing Kit
Crystallisation is a physical process by virtue of which a fluid, i.e., a gas or a liquid gets converted into crystals. Children can learn about the concept and the process of crystallization with ease by growing crystals on their own. For this purpose, a variety of crystal growing kits are available in the market that consists of the procedure and apparatus required for growing crystals at home. Also, one can easily find a number of games and experiments that make use of general materials available at home to execute the process of crystal growth over the internet.
34. Bridge Making Game
A bridge making game makes use of a number of physics concepts and theories such as tension force, balance force, adhesion, elasticity, the tensile strength of materials, etc. The rules of the game are simple as each player playing the game is required to make a bridge with the help of the materials such as ice cream sticks, string, fibre, etc. The player whose bridge tends to survive the maximum load tends to win the game.
35. Dart Board
A dartboard game is an indoor multiplayer game that is designed for people of all ages including children as well as adults. It consists of a circular board that is divided into various sub-sections. Each subsection of the dartboard is assigned a particular point. The players aim towards the board and try to score the maximum points possible. At the end of the game, the player with the maximum points is declared the winner. Dartboard game is available in traditional wooden form as well as in magnetic form. It is quite helpful in improving certain mathematical skills possessed by a child such as quick calculation, knowledge about surface areas of different geometric figures, etc.
36. Jungle Gym
A jungle gym is a structure that is typically constructed with the help of multiple vertical and horizontal bars. Jungle gyms are yet another example of the fun games that a child can play for educational as well as entertainment purposes. Jungle gyms are also advantageous as they help a child stay fit and healthy. Various physics concepts that a child can learn by playing at a jungle gym include the horizontal and vertical components of forces, impact force, the motion of objects, etc.
37. Kendama Toy
A kendama toy is a prominent example of the physics toys suitable for younger children. It was first introduced in Japan. The outer structure of the kendama toy is typically made up of wood. It consists of a ball tied to its top portion with the help of a string. The prime aim of the kendama is to toss the ball between the grooves and the tip of the toy. It helps the player improve his/her hand-eye coordination, the reflexes, and motor skills. Certain physics concepts that a kendama toy is capable of explaining include balance force, tension force, elasticity, impact force, rectilinear motion, curvilinear motion, and translation of motion from one form to another.
38. Merry Go Round
A merry go round is an amusement ride that helps a child easily observe the existence of centrifugal and centripetal force in real life, which is why playing on such rides is a prime example of physics fun games for kids.
A trampoline typically consists of a flexible fabric sheet that is wrapped over a rigid rectangular or circular frame. The sheet is highly elastic in nature, which is why an object falling on its surface tends to bounce back. A trampoline game helps a child learn about various physics concepts such as elasticity, tension, compression, rarefaction, weight, spring action, gravitational pull, air resistance, the motion of objects and many more.
40. Juggling Games
Juggling games are one of the best games that help a person develop steadiness, focus, and motor skills. Such games also help in the enhancement of the player’s hand to eye coordination and strengthening of his/her ability to concentrate on things. One can easily understand the concept of physical quantities such as velocity, speed and acceleration with the help of juggling pins or balls. Also, by playing juggling games, a person tends to learn about the projectile motion of objects, gravitational force, air resistance, impact force, muscular force, action-reaction force, laws of motion, etc.
A pindaloo is one of the best toys designed for kids that helps them learn complex physics related terms and concepts in a fun manner while playing. Pindaloo was invented by Amir Zobel and Matan Shamir in 2012 as their Master’s Degree project. A pindaloo game typically consists of a hollow cylindrical tube that is shaped like the English alphabet ‘U’ and a lightweight plastic ball. The main objective of the game is to toss the ball up in the air from one end of the tube and catch it back through the other end of the tube. This particular game serves to be quite useful in explaining concepts such as the motion of objects, the law of inertia of motion, impact force, etc. It also helps in improving a child’s concentration power, motor skills, and ability to focus on objects.
42. Ladder Toss
A ladder toss is one of the most common fun physics games that a child can play for amusement and for educational purposes. It is also known as horsey golf. It is an outdoor multiplayer game that consists of ladders and bolas. The ladder used in the ladder toss game is quite different from the ladders used in homes to climb on the rooftops. The rungs of the ladder used in a ladder toss game are separated at a distance approximately equal to 13 feet. Each rung of the ladder is coloured different from each other. The bolas used by the game are typically made by fixing two balls at the ends of a string or a rope. Three pairs of bolas are generally required to play the game. The main objective of the game is to swing bola towards the side of the opponent’s ladder rungs in such a way that they get wrapped around the structure and reward the player with points. If the player manages to stick the bola on the top rung, he/she gets awarded with 3 points, the middle rung provides him/her with a total of 2 points, while the bottom rung gives the player one point. The first team or the person to collect 21 points tends to win the game. This particular game helps a child learn about rotatory and swinging motion of objects, tension force, muscular force, velocity, angular momentum, gravity, acceleration, and various other physics-related phenomena.
43. Ball Games
Ball games such as basketball, volleyball, football, handball, etc. are classic examples of fun physics games that a child can play for educational, enjoyment, and personality development purposes. Such games help a child understand the fundamentals and the concepts of various laws and phenomena of the universe. Ball games also help a player improve his/her hand to eye coordination, motor skills, concentration, quick response to stimuli, and various other personality enhancement skills.
44. Racing Games
Racing games are yet another example of the fun physics games that children can play to enhance their knowledge of the subject and their personality. Some of the most common racing games include relay race, three leg race, sack race, spoon race, cycling race, swimming race, hurdle race, etc. Racing games involve the real-life application of various physics concepts and theories such as motion, transfer of motion from one form to the other, matter, energy, conservation of energy, momentum, velocity, types of forces, equilibrium, etc. Such games help a person maintain and improve his/her mental as well as physical health.
As the name itself suggests, a mini-golf is a miniature version of the golf game. It tends to form a prominent example of the fun games that a child can play easily at home and learn about the general concepts of physics. The game set-up generally consists of a miniature version of a golf lawn that is typically made up of plastic or wood. A cup is usually installed into the opening made on the miniature lawn. The procedure of playing the game is the same as that of a regular golf game. Other game equipment provided with a mini golf game set include a golf stick, a golf ball, and a tee. The player tends to fix the golf tee a few meters away from the golf court. He/she then places the ball on the top of the tee and hit it with the golf stick. The prime objective of the game is to aim for the hole or the cup installed on the court and make the ball land into it. The physics concepts and theories that can be explained with the help of a mini-golf game include projectile motion, rolling friction, the inertia of motion and rest, three laws of motion, conservation of energy, momentum, angular momentum, velocity, acceleration, retardation, etc.
Carrom is yet another example of a fun physics game that is suitable for children as well as adults. It typically consists of a square shaped wooden frame that has four netted pockets installed at each corner of the board. It is an indoor multiplayer game that is designed for two to four players. A carrom board is provided with a set of 19 carrom coins and a striker. Nine of the carrom coins are black in colour, nine of them are white in colour, and one of them is red in colour. The red coloured carrom coin is known as the queen and has five points associated with it. The points associated with each of the coins other than the queen coin is equal to 1. The prime objective of the game is to drop the maximum number of carrom coins into the pockets grooved on the edges of the carrom board by hitting the coins with a striker. At the end of the game, all the players tend to sum up the points collected by them. The player who manages to score maximum points is declared the winner of the game. A child can easily understand the concept of frictional force, muscular force, transfer of energy from one form to the other, etc. by playing carrom.
47. Catch the Ball Game
Playing catch is one of the best examples of the fun physics games and activities that a child can practice to learn the basic concepts of physics and to develop certain personality development skills such as confidence, quick response to the stimuli, concentration, and focus. Playing catch usually involves two or more players. Each player playing the catch game is provided with a glove. The game begins with one player tossing the ball towards the other player, the other player catching the ball and tossing it towards the next player or back to the first player. The process goes on and on till one of the players misses the catch. The player opposite to the player who misses the catch gains a point. At the end of the game, the player with the maximum number of points is declared the winner. A catch game also helps a child improve his/her hand to eye coordination and motor skills.