Join us as we learned about the wheel and axle. This Wheel and Axle for Kids lesson is a fun, hands-on, and engaging simple machines lesson for preschool, pre k, kindergarten, first grade, 2nd grade, 3rd grade, and 4th grade students. Learn about how this simple machine, how it was used in history, and try one of our simple machine projects.
Wheel and Axle
A wheel and axel is a simple machine where a wheel turns around a bar to move objects. In this wheel and axle for kids lesson we will look closer at how this simple machine words with a hand-on wheel and axle activity, read informative pictures, books, and have a chance to explore the 6 simple machines. This simple machines science lesson is perfect for preschoolers, kindergartens, grade 1, grade 2, grade 3, and grade 4 students.
Wheel and axle for Kids
Wheels and axles include things like sharpeners, doorknobs, Ferris Wheels, wheels on cars, flour grain, and more.
Here are some of the books we read to prepare for our second week studying simple machines :
Wheel and axle Activity
For one of our experiments I had the kids try to push a brick across the counter. They observed how the friction from the weight and the brick’s surface made it difficult. We briefly talked about how before we had modern machines it would have been very difficult to move large stones, but that it could be done. Then we read a couple books to explore:
- Stonehenge. England – they used lots to roll the heavy stones
- Pyramids, Egypt – they used inclined plains to move heavy stones
We attempted both methods and discovered for our purposes of moving over a flat surface rolling over “pencil” logs worked really well. The logs were a version of a simple machine – the wheel.
Simple machine projects
For this simple machine project, we started off by rolling a Styrofoam ball. Balls roll in all different directions and aren’t as easy to control. I asked the kids if a ball was different from a wheel. Then I cut off the sides of the Styrofoam ball to show that wheels are really the centers of balls.
Love the light bulb that went on in their eyes!
Before I could even suggest it, my 3rd grader stuck a pencils through the middle and said – “Look Mom, I made an axel.” Someone was listening to the books we were reading! After having them push it around for a while we made a second Styrofoam wheel and joined it with the same axel. It was a lot easier to turn.
K’NEX Simple Machines
Last Christmas I found these K’Nex Education sets on super deal so we decided to try them out. We love Lego, but they are SO expensive. K’Nex are fun, easy to use, and great for teaching STEM; we have been so impressed with these K’Nex kits. The pieces are so versatile and the educational guide explains simple machine along with instructions to create 7 models.
Our favorites were the well (pictured at the top of the post – the kids played with it for hours) and the car with the working steering wheel.
I highly recommend the K’next Education Simple Machines: Wheel & Axel and Inclined Planes. It is such a great way for kids to be able to visually see and put into practice what they’ve learned. We are huge fans of hands on learning!
Simple Machines for Kids
- Inclined Planes for kids – explanation, activities, and resources
- Wheel and Axle for kids lesson with projects and other fun ideas
- Gears for Kids filled with lots of hands on activities
- Wedges and Screw Simple Machine Lesson for children
- Levers and Pulleys lesson for students
- I Spy simple machines for kids
- MATCH – Simple Machines Game
- 30 Simple Machines for Kids Projects
- Free Simple Machines Worksheet to fold into a clever booklet
- Candy Simple Machines Project
- Pulley Experiment from recycled materials
Fun Science for Kids
Looking for lots more fun, science experiments for kids? You’ve GOT to try some of these outrageously fun science experiments for kids! We have so many fun, creative and easy science experiments for elementary age children:
- 100 Amazing Food science experiments for kids – arranged by type of science
- Colorful Capillary action science experiment (also known as walking water)
- Amaze kids with these 12 Hands on Science experiments with batteries
- 24 Epic Solar system science projects to try this week
- Fun Water balloon science experiment that explores density
- 50 Fun Preschool science experiments the whole family will want to try
- Simple Galaxy science project
- Easy and Fun Dancing Raisins Experiment
- Learn about weather as you find how to make a weather vane
- Eye opening Eye science experiments
- Easy-to- make Air pressure science project
- Amazing POP rocks science experiment is one of our all-time favorite science experiments we like to do during the summer are
- Stunning Chromatography Flowers are so pretty you’ll forget it was as science project!
- How to Make a Lava Lamp – super easy and SO cool!
- 30 Simple machines science projects kids will want to try
- Easy, fascinating, and colorful project answering Why do Leaves Change Color Experiment
- Free Printable Animal Classifications for Kids Cootie Catchers
- 19 Edible science experiments – which delicious project will you try first?
- HUGE Free Solar System Unit (coloring pages, hands on science projects, worksheets, and more!)
- Pipe Cleaner Constellation Activity (As seen on Good Housekeeping!)
- Teach kids about conductivity with this fun squishy circuits projects
- Amazing, Heat Sensitive, Color Changing Slime
- Life Cycles for Kids (from penguin to sunflower and spider to turkey we have LOTS of life cycles to explore and learn about)
- EASY, Colorful Oil and Water Science Experiment
- Kids will be amazed as you change colors of white flowers with this Dying Flowers Science Experiment
- This super cool Lego Zipline is fun and simple to make
- Human Body Project
- Check out this super cool look INSIDE a Volcano Project
- Exploding Watermelon – science experiment that explores potential and kinetic energy with a big WOW moment!
- Memorable Life Size Skeletal system science project – includes free printable template
- Find LOTS more Easy Science Experiments for kids of all ages!
I am teaching a simple machines course at our home school co-op. Each time I start researching for a lesson I find your web site is the best resource! Thanks so much for the great information and super creative activities!