How to build a toy crane

Written by linda shepard
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How to build a toy crane
Create a toy crane from household materials. (crane image by Tammy Mobley from

Building a toy crane with the help of a young child will teach the youngster how basic engineering principles can create a useful and fun device. This toy crane’s simple construction illustrates how large objects can be moved with the help of machinery. The supplies for this project can be found around the house and require no special shopping trip. On the next rainy weekend, spend a half-hour building a toy crane that will fascinate your child for days.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Duct tape
  • Ruler
  • 2 small magnets
  • Twine
  • Nails and washers
  • Box

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  1. 1

    Cut the duct tape to measure 7 inches. Cut a second piece of tape to measure 3 inches. Press the sticky side of the short piece of tape to the sticky side of the long piece, centring the short piece.

  2. 2

    Stick the ends of the long piece of tape to the top arch of a doorway, creating a pulley.

  3. 3

    Measure the height of the doorway arch and double it. Subtract 2 feet and use that measurement for the length of twine. Pull the twine through the pulley, leaving both ends hanging at an even length.

  4. 4

    Let the two magnets grab each other on either side of one end of hanging twine to create the crane.

  5. 5

    Scatter the nails and washers below the crane. Let the magnets pick up the nails and washers by pulling the no-magnet end of twine. Manipulate the magnets to move the nails and washers into the box.

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