How to Build a Toy Tower Crane

Written by linda shepard
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How to Build a Toy Tower Crane
Create a toy tower crane from household materials. (crane image by Deborah Durbin from

A young child could be fascinated with the mechanical structure of a toy tower crane that can transport small metal objects. Picking up the objects with the magnetised crane and moving them to a nearby location will be a lot of fun, but creating the actual tower crane with the help of an adult will add an extra level of excitement. Easy-to-find household materials are all you need to put together a toy tower crane.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Strong string
  • Scissors
  • Masking tape
  • Interior doorway
  • Tape measure
  • Two small magnets
  • Small metal objects like nails
  • Shoebox

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  1. 1

    Cut a piece of masking tape to measure 5 inches long.

  2. 2

    Cut one piece of masking tape to measure 3 inches long.

  3. 3

    Press the sticky side of the short piece of tape to the sticky side of the long piece, centred, leaving 1 inch at each end of the long piece.

  4. 4

    Press the sticky ends of the long piece of tape to the top of a doorway. This will create a pulley for the crane.

  5. 5

    Measure the distance from the top of the doorway to the floor. Double that and subtract 24 inches. Cut the string to this measurement.

  6. 6

    Insert one end of the string through the middle channel of the pulley, bringing the string down to meet the other end.

  7. 7

    Attach the two small magnets to one end of the string by pressing the magnets together.

  8. 8

    Spread the small metal objects on the floor under the string.

  9. 9

    Use the empty end of the string to manipulate the magnetised end of the tower crane, picking up the objects and transporting them to the shoebox.

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