Make science come alive as kids learn about levers and pulleys with these fun simple machine activities and experiments for kid of all ages!
In case you are just joining our Simple Machines Unit for Preschool, K-5th grade, here is what you’ve missed:
Simple Machines for Kids
- Simple Machines – Inclined Planes
- Simple Machines –Wheels & Axel
- Simple Machines – Gears
- Simple Machines –Wedges & Screws
- Simple Machines – Levers & Pulleys
- I Spy Simple Machines Book
- Simple Machines Mini Book
- Simple Machines Game
Levers and Pulleys
This is the fifth and final part of our Simple Machines hands-on science unit. In this Levers and Pulleys Simple Machines Lesson we have talked about the six simple machines: inclined plane, wheel & axle (including a close up on gears), screw, wedge, lever, and pulley.
A door is a type of lever. Depending on where you push on it, it takes more or less force (effort) to move it. Some examples of a lever include the back side of a hammer, catapult, shovel
We tried an experiment to show how levers work. We used a ruler, Lego Duplo as our fulcrum, and a book. Then the kids pushed down on the opposite end.
We experimented how moving the fulcrum (the tension point in the middle of the ruler) made lifting the book either harder or easier depending on which way you moved it. Having the fulcrum closest to the object we were lifting made it easiest .
Ever since our Medieval Ages history unit my kids are even more into castles. So we just had to make the common middle ages lever – a catapult.
Pulleys for Kids
A pulley is a simple machine with one or more grooved wheels connected by a rope. It is used for lifting, lowering, or moving objects. Some examples of pulleys include cable cars, ski lifts, playground zipline, and more.
We made a simple pulley to send messages back and forth across the room. This kids thought it was hilarious!
Then we tried an experiment using several pulleys. By having more than one pulley it made the job easier.
This experiment allowed our 4 year old preschooler to pull the rope at the end so that despite mommy and daddy pulling the sticks apart, they went together easily with just her little bit of effort.
K’Nex Lever & Pulley
To reinforce both the simple machines we learned about his week (levers and pulleys) we used this fun, hands on K’next Education Lever & Pulleys
More Science Activities for Kids
- Animal Report Forms K-8th
- Bug Unit
- Hatching Baby Chicken Notebook K-6th
- Crystals – How to Grow Crystals K-6th
- Crystal Egg Geode Science Experiment K-6th
- Dinosaur Unit K-6th
- Earth Science Unit K-6th
- Habitat Adventure Game (Exploring Biomes, Animals, and Taxonomy) K-6th
- Hatching ButterfliesK-6th
- How to Make a Lava Lamp – K-6th
- Pop Rock Science Experiment K-6th
- Solar System Coloring Pages
- Weather Unit (free printable unit) K-3rd
- Zoo Scavenger Hunts – 17 different hunts for kids Toddler – 6th Grade