Reviews

Pendulum Art Kit Review

Once again it’s been far too long since I last updated this blog, so when I was offered a product to review which I thought readers (and myself) might enjoy, I thought it offered an excellent excuse to create some new content. It’s not that I’m short of ideas for this, but simply the time to carry them out these days.

You may have seen pendulum art before – there are lots of videos online showing it, and the concept is extremely simple. It’s also a fantastic fun and educational STEAM project for kids, since it combines both art and science. There is no doubt that if you are so inclined, you could rig up your own kit for this quite easily, but this kit appealed to me because of its small scale, its low cost and its ‘giftability’.

The box states that it is suitable for children over the age of 14 and over to use, though with supervision you could do this activity with much younger kids.

Pendulum Art Contents

Assembly

The kit is quite easy to put together, but is not made easier by printing the instructions in yellow on the back of the box in miniscule size. I was simply unable to read them. Admittedly my close up vision is not as perfect as it once was, but it’s not particularly poor either, so I think lots of people might struggle here. Fortunately the illustration on the front of the box helps, and it’s not hard to work out what you need to do.

Using the Kit

A pot of water based paint is supplied in the kit, but it needs to be diluted to the correct consistency to use. This can only really be discovered through trial and error. Too thick, and the paint will struggle to create a continuous line, too runny, and there is a tendency for it to puddle. The paint is sucked up using a syringe which you attach to string suspended from the cardboard framework. The plunger part of the syringe is removed when you are ready to swing the pendulum. The design you achieve very much depends upon the way the pendulum is swung and I achieved several different designs (completely accidentally!) Once the supplied paint has run out, you can of course use any cheap water-based paint of a similar consistency, but the small pot supplied allowed me to create 4 designs.

A couple of other points worthy of note:

  • I found that the pendulum swing didn’t last too long because of the small size of the framework, but was probably just about long enough for the amount of paint available each time and to demonstrate the principle.
  • I found it quite a messy exercise, particularly loading the paint etc. Protective clothing and paper is therefore a sensible precaution!

All in all I had a lot of fun using this – even my 2 teenage boys took an interest, and it’s quite difficult these days to interest them in any kind of art activity! You can see the kit in action below (apologies for the slightly ropey video – my video editing skills are rather basic)!

And finally, if you enjoyed this activity, you might also like to explore Doodlebots: