Make science come alive as kids learn about levers and pulleys with these fun simple machine activities and experiments for kids from pre k, kindergarten, first grade, 2nd grade, 3rd grade, and 4th grade students.
Keep scrolling to learn more and see the rest of our simple machines for kids study!
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.
Levers and Pulleys Experiments
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
Lever and Pulley Examples
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.
Simple Machines Levers and Pulleys
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’nex Education Lever & Pulleys
Simple Machines for Kids
- Inclined Plane Simple Machine – explanation, activities, and resources
- Wheel and Axle for kids lesson with projects and other fun ideas
- Gears Simple Machines for Kids filled with lots of hands on activities
- Wedges and Screws Simple Machines Lesson for children
- Levers and Pulleys lesson for students
- Free Simple Machine Worksheets
- I Spy simple machines for kids
- MATCH – Simple Machines Game
- 30 Simple Machines for Kids Projects
- Free Simple Machines Booklet
- Candy Simple Machines Project
- Pulley Experiment from recycled materials
Science Projects for kids
Looking for more epic simple science experiments to help kids learn and explore the world around them? Try these educational activities for students:
- Why do Leaves Change Colors – a fascinating chromatography project for kids
- Beautiful Chromatography Flowers
- Exploding Watermelon Science
- Air Pressure Science Project
- Homemade Butter Science Project
- Ear Anatomy Science Project
- Amazing, Color Changing Slime
- Water Balloon Density Science Experiment
- EASY Lava Lamp Science Experiment
- Walking Water Science Experiment