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Homemade Hourglass

This a wonderfully fun activity to use with an ancient history unit, a time theme, or as a math exercise. While it can be a little challenging, you wind up with a working time keeper.

Materials Needed:

two 20-ounce plastic water or soda bottles and their plastic caps
strong glue
electrical tape
drill and bit (for the plastic caps)
funnel
2 cups clean sand
Push pin
Glue and/or stickers to decorate bottles

Directions:

1. Use strong glue to attach the top of one cap to the top of the other.

2. Tape them together with electrical tape for reinforcement.

3. Drill a hole through the center of both caps using an drill bit.

4. Screw the drilled and glued cap piece onto one of the plastic bottles.

5. Pour about 1˝ cups of clean sand or colored craft sand through a funnel into the other bottle.

6. Tightly screw the empty bottle to the sand-filled bottle.

7. Poke a tiny hole with a pushpin into the side of each plastic bottle.

8. Invert, and watch the sand flow into the empty bottle.

9. Decorate the bottles with colorful paints and/or stickers if you want.

To figure out the exact time amount for your “hour”glass, use your watch to measure how long it takes for the 1˝ cups of sand to flow from one bottle into the other. If you want a three-minute timer and the sand runs out before three minutes, add more sand. Test until you get the number of minutes you want.

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