Making Moving Toys with The Play Doctors

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1 Making Moving Toys with The Play Doctors ThePlayDoctors

2 Welcome to Making Moving Toys with The Play Doctors. The focus of this workshop is to give you the principles to support children in creating their own ideas using levers, cams and string. We have provided a range of templates and suggestions but feel free to adapt them to suit the ages and abilities of children you are working with. We advocate FREE play where children have choice and control in their play so having taught the children how to create a simple cam, lever or pulley device give them resources to decorate as they desire. Safety Warning Please note that you will be using various tools in the making of these simple toys. Please be careful. If making holes use a hole punch where possible. If using a sharp pencil please press through card onto a block of modelling clay or other soft material. These items require the use of small loose parts which may be a choking hazard. When doing these crafts in your setting NEVER use live matchsticks. Please supervise children at all times. Photocopy Resources You are welcome to use the template pages to photocopy. These are copyright free clip art images. Please enlarge as necessary. ThePlayDoctors

3 The Expandable Trellis Resources: 6 x lolly sticks (or lengths of card or corriflute board) 6 x matchsticks Card Foam washers (optional) Instructions Make three holes in each lolly stick or length of card. One on each end and one in the centre. If using lolly sticks you may need to drill a small hole using a hand drill. If using card or corriflute holes can be created by carefully pushing a sharp pencil through the board. Place one lolly stick over another and carefully push a match stick through the centre holes to join them together in a series of X shapes. Break or cut off the ends of the matchsticks. You now have the beginning of an expandable trellis. The trellis can be used for lots of activities. Allow the children to come up with their own ideas. The following ideas are to get you started. ThePlayDoctors

4 Push two matchsticks through the holes on one end of the trellis. Use the foam washers provided and push them onto the ends of the matchsticks. Now when you turn the trellis over, open and close the foam washers can be used to pick up objects and place them in a pot. A five year old, decided to use hers to make a moving Christmas card with a santa saying Ho Ho Ho. Or create a Puppet by sticking on two halves of a face which can open and close to create a moving mouth. What else can you think of? ThePlayDoctors

5 Firing Catapult Resources: 4 x lolly sticks 4 x small elastic bands (loom bands work well) Something to fire (we used a wooden spool) Small container (we used the bottom of a polystyrene cup) Instructions Place two lolly sticks together and wrap an elastic band around either end. Take a third lolly stick and place over the pair to create a cross shape. Wrap an elastic band around these three sticks where they cross. Place the fourth lolly stick underneath the other three and wrap a band around the end to hold it together to create the spring needed for the catapult. Attach the small pot to the top lolly stick, allowing a 1cm gap at the end to push down the catapult with your finger. Place something in the container to fire. Hold the catapult steady on a table or flat surface. With your other hand push down on the lolly stick using the 1cm overlap. Let go quickly and watch the objects fly. ThePlayDoctors

6 Try firing objects into another container or tray. Why not make several catching containers placed in a row in front of the catapult, near to far and add scores to each container to create a game. Try expanding this idea by using larger lolly sticks how big can you make it? A simple geared Cam spinning toy Resources: 2 x small cups or containers 2 elastic bands (loom bands work well) 2 x rods or sticks (kebab sticks are suitable) 1 x small cardboard disk 1 x larger cardboard disk (or make from corriflute board) 1 x wooden spool If cutting your own disks draw around the base of the cup for the larger disk. The smaller disk needs to be approx 2/3 rd of that size. Find the centre of the circle and create a small hole for the rod. ThePlayDoctors

7 Instructions Carefully push the rod through the base of the cup making sure it is in the centre. Push the cardboard disk onto the end of the rod. If it is loose add a little glue and leave to dry. Push the second rod through one side of the cup (no more than 1 cm below the rim). Thread on the larger cam and place slightly off centre. Wrap an elastic band around the rod (inside the cup) and push the rod through the other side of the cup. Wrap the second elastic band around the end of the rod and push both bands tightly again the side wall of the cup. These act as washers and will keep the rod in place. Place the wooden spool over the first rod and glue it to the outside of the cup. This acts as a stabiliser and will stop the rod from wobbling. Bend over the end of the rod (if using paper rods) to create a handle. ThePlayDoctors

8 Place the two cups together and turn the handle. The upright rod should turn in a circle. If it does not work then re-position the centre cam to ensure it is touching the card disk. In this illustration we have added lolly sticks and card to create a windmill effect. Experiment and add whatever you like to the spinning toy. We have provided some images you may like to copy and stick onto the upright rod. Ask the children to create their own images or they may wish to develop the idea further and create their own designs. ThePlayDoctors

9 Photocopy templates to put on top of spinning toy ThePlayDoctors

10 Creating up and down movements using shaped cams To create both spinning and rising and falling movement in this toy use a shaped cam on the horizontal rod as illustrated. When turned the edge of these cams will rotate the upright rod, but will also raise and lower it as the shape is offset. Photocopy templates enlarge these as appropriate when copying. The cross indicates where the hole is needed. The snail cam (right) creates a lift, when the rod reaches the top of the cam, it falls quickly giving a jerky movement to the toy. Experiment with making different shaped cams. ThePlayDoctors

11 This little man appears when the handle is turned as he pops up from behind the wall. Cams can also be used to create other moving toys. Watch this You Tube Clip to see how cams can be used to create a snapping crocodile. https://www.youtube.com/wat ch?v=2vclmxsiavo You have the items in your bag you can adapt to make this crocodile ThePlayDoctors

12 Climbing Toys Resources Card or Corriflute board String (approx 2 metres) Large lolly stick or firm board Buttons or beads Picture or drawing Simple climbing toy instructions Find a clip art image or ask the children to draw their own. Cut it out and stick onto board. Tape a piece of plastic drinking straw to the back of the board. These need to be vertical to the image. ThePlayDoctors

13 Cut a piece of corriflute or heavy card to create a balance beam. This needs to be as wide as the image. Make 4 holes in the board. Thread the string through the holes as illustrated Knot the string to create a loop. Re-feed the string through the two central holes and back down through the edge holes. See photograph above. ThePlayDoctors

14 Thread the string through the straws and tie on buttons, card disks or beads to either end. Hang the toy up on a hook or nail. Pull the strings out sideways to make the monkey climb. This example was made and used by a 3 and 5 year old. ThePlayDoctors

15 The image needs to be quite wide such as the photocopy templates below. ThePlayDoctors

16 These activities are fun to make and play with. Consider how you can use everyday materials as card and string. Use the suggestions as a basis from which to kick start new ideas and allow children to play freely. Further information and useful websites https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2vclmxsiavo Interchangeable-Cams/ https://www.pinterest.com/megansheard/toys/ The Play Doctors offer lots of resources to support the inclusion of children who have communication difficulties or English as second language. Visit for further information. ThePlayDoctors

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