How to Make a Simple Toy With Moveable Parts

Written by linda shepard
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How to Make a Simple Toy With Moveable Parts
Use a cardboard box to make a toy with movable parts. (cardboard box image by MAXFX from

Making a simple toy with movable parts will help explain the basics of mechanical construction to a child. Making this shark toy, with the help of an adult, would also spur creativity and imagination. The assembly could encourage a child to seek a career in engineering or architecture. This activity could also be incorporated into a birthday party or summer camp craft session. The toy is made with easy-to-find tools and materials.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Cardboard box, 5-by-6-by-3-inch
  • Scissors
  • Masking tape
  • Compass
  • Mat knife
  • Pencil
  • 2 plastic straws
  • Poster board
  • Glue

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  1. 1

    Cut the bottom and top off the box with the scissors.

  2. 2

    Reinforce all box corners and bent edges with the masking tape.

  3. 3

    Poke holes in the centres of the two long sides of the box, and the centre of the top of the box with the pencil.

  4. 4

    Cut two round circles from the leftover cardboard box top to measure 2 1/2 inches in diameter, using the compass and scissors.

  5. 5

    Cut a 1-inch by 1 1/2-inch rectangle from the leftover cardboard for a handle.

  6. 6

    Poke a hole in the centre of one circle with the pencil.

  7. 7

    Poke a hole, 1/2-inch from the edge, in the other circle.

  8. 8

    Poke two holes 1/4-inch from each short edge of the rectangle.

  9. 9

    Cut a straw to measure 8 inches long. Thread the straw through one side box hole, the circle with the off-centre hole, the other side box hole and one hole in the handle.

  10. 10

    Cut a 2-inch section of straw and insert it in the second hole in the handle.

  11. 11

    Thread another 8-inch straw through the box top hole. Attach the other cardboard circle to the bottom of the straw, which will rest on top of the cardboard circle inside the box.

  12. 12

    Draw a shark on the poster board and cut it out. Glue it to the part of the straw that is sticking out from the top of the box.

  13. 13

    Cut a square of poster board to fit over the front of the box. Draw waves on the poster board and glue it to the box.

  14. 14

    Turn the handle to make the shark jump over the waves.

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