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Simple Machines: Make a Pulley {Science for Kids}

Think your little one is too young to learn about simple machines? Try this easy activity to make a pulley and they will learn as they play and discover how it works.

We at Kids Activities Blog believe that science for kids should be hands-on and always fun.

Simple Machines

Simple machines have always fascinated my son. He loves to build them and explore them. After making him a mobile for his room, I looked at the empty ribbon spool that was left from ribbon on the mobile. It would be perfect I decided for making pulley.

My son and I gathered a few other supplies to create a homemade ribbon spool pulley.

Here is what we gathered:

  • Two band-aids
  • Empty ribbon spool
  • Plastic Applesauce cup
  • Chopstick
  • Yarn
  • Hole punch
  • Plastic army men

Make a Pulley
How did we put it together:
  1. Punch three holes into the applesauce cup.
  2. Cut three pieces of yarn the same length.
  3. Tie one end of each of the pieces of yarn through a hole in the cup.
  4. Tie the loose ends of the yarn together.
  5. Tie a really long piece of yarn to the three pieces you just tied together.
  6. Tape the other end of the long piece of yarn to the inside of the ribbon spool.
  7. Wrap the yarn around the ribbon spool.
  8. Place a band-aid at each end of the chopstick. The band-aids will keep the chopstick from rubbing against the wood of the banister or where ever you secure the pulley.
  9. Slide the ribbon spool onto the chopstick.
  10. Find a location to use your pulley. The length of your chopsticks may determine that.

Science For Kids

Once you have created your pulley you will need set it up in location you want to use it in. We set ours up on our stairs. The chopsticks were placed behind two sections of our Bannister. If you have headboard of a bed or chair with slats, you could set up your pulley there.

To work the pulley my son pushed the spool towards himself with one hand and held one end of the chopstick. Just rolling the ribbon roll would have worked too.

It is more fun when you have something to lift with your pulley. We placed a couple of plastic army men in ours. They are light and small. They made great items to lift.

More Kids Activities

There are several types of simple machines and even young kids can enjoy learning about them with the right hands-on activity. We’d love to hear if your child tried to make a pulley. For more fun science kids activities, we think you’ll enjoy these ideas:

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