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Exploring simple machines

Construction play such as measuring weight against gravity, moving objects and testing their limitations all contribute to a child’s way of thinking outside the box.  Playing with a variety of building and reusing household products helps children build self-confidence and encourages their independent creative learning.


Play activity

Do you have old tires that you are about to throw away?  Why not reuse them for outdoor play areas and activities!  Tires are fantastic large loose parts for children to move and manipulate.  What are some activities or things you can build with tires?

Sample materials

  • Tires of any sizes

Play challenge

Pulleys are simple machines with a wheel that you can loop a string or rope over to make lifting an object easier.  What can you use around your home to build a pulley system?  What objects are you going to lift?

Sample materials

  • Spools, rolling pin or sewing machine bobbins
  • Sticks of any kind
  • Carabiners
  • Wire hanger
  • String, rope, ribbon
  • Cups, containers
  • Pail
  • Recycled cardboard boxes or tubes