Learn how to create a DIY vortex cannon in air - MYSPARKLEBOX
Make Your Own DIY Vortex Cannon!

Make Your Own DIY Vortex Cannon!

diy vortex cannon at home for kids


Making DIY toys, such as DIY vortex cannon for kids is a lot of fun, but it becomes more interesting if we can explain the science or logic behind it. A vortex cannon is a cannon that releases vortices of smoke in the air, instead of cannons or balls. These vortices look like rings of smoke but are bigger, powerful, and almost invisible. 

Throwing balls of air on your friends and loved ones sure sounds like fun! However, it is not easy to push and throw air in one direction, because, unlike solids and liquids, the molecules of gaseous substances aren’t closely knit together. Molecules of air do not attract each other, and collisions of air molecules happen rarely; only when a certain external force is acting upon them, or they collide by pure luck. Therefore, to make a DIY vortex cannon for kids, we need something that can store the smoke in a compact space so that they do not go away from each other. 

cardboard box needed to make DIY Vortex Cannon

Things Needed to Make DIY Vortex Cannon

  1. A cardboard box big enough to store plenty of smoke in it
  2. A sealing tape to ensure that the smoke doesn’t escape through its edges and gaps
  3. A scissor and a marker 
  4. A smoke pump

Procedure for DIY Vortex Cannon

using a tape to make a DIY Vortex Cannon
  1. Start by sealing the ends and edges of the cardboard box nicely with the help of sealing tape. Make sure that the lids of the box are tightly closed, and then tape it as well.
  2. Now, draw a circle on one of the front faces of the cardboard box with the help of a marker, and cut it with a scissor or sharp blade. The circle should not be too big or too small, as the smoke ring should be big enough to travel a distance or be visible.
  3. Note: Do not use a loose cardboard box, as you would need it firm enough to create pressure inside when you press the box from outside. 
  4. Fill the cardboard box with smoke from the circle that you have made. You will need a smoke pump for it, or else it would not be easy to contain the smoke inside for too long. If you don’t like smoke, then you can simply fill the air in it with the help of a gas balloon
  5. Now, if you want to know how to create a vortex in the air, then simply hold the box or keep it on a table and press the horizontal sides hard enough to create a vortex. Making a DIY vortex cannon for kids is really that simple. 
  6. To add more fun to this activity, you can arrange plastic or paper cups upon each other and aim at them using your smoke vortices from a distance. 

How Does it Happen?

smoke pump to fill smoke for DIY Vortex Cannon

While making the DIY vortex cannon for kids, so much smoke or air is filled that the entire space inside the box is occupied by it. When you press the box from the sides, then the pressure created by your push forces some of the smoke outside, as there is no space inside to contain it. The amount of gas released outside in the form of a vortex depends on how hard you press the box, i.e., how much pressure you have exerted on it. The circle you had cut on the box helps the smoke to escape in the form of smoke vortices. 

Steps to Make a Simple Air Cannon

tools that can be used to make DIY Vortex Cannon

Take an unused plastic bottle, and cut its bottom end neatly with the help of a sharp blade or knife. Now, take a good quality balloon, cut its narrow end, and stretch it over the open end of the bottle that you have just cut. 

Seal the balloon with sealing tape so that it does not slip out. Now, just pull the balloon from behind and release it at once to create invisible vortices of air. Test it on another bottle or plastic cups to see the range of its effectiveness. This DIY vortex cannon for kids is not only simple and easy to make, but also consumes less time. Your kids will learn how to create a vortex in the air, and you will see a beautiful smile on their faces when the plastic cups fall as they get hit by the vortex. 


You can also make a vortex cannon cone by taking a cone-shaped plastic container or barrel. There are many ways to make DIY vortex cannon for kids, but the science or principle behind it remains the same. We, at Sparklebox, indulge kids in doing simple projects like DIY vortex cannon for kids to improve their creativity.

We provide grade-wise kits for kids of pre-nursery to grade 9. The kits and toys are developed to inspire kids to think beyond books and theory. We also offer educational toys that educate your kids about robotics, science, maths, etc. Therefore, do visit our online store once and see what it has in store for your kids!

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