Developing and encouraging interest in our children to build and create isn’t as hard as we may think. We can start small and help our children to explore this with printables all about simple machines. It is a great precursor to STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) in your homeschool.
STEM remains to be a field that is a little intimidating to teach. However, we can’t deny that the demands for engineers remains high. Companies struggle to find good people to fill their positions (Semiengineering.com, 2019). Helping our children’s curiosity in simple machines can get them interested in science, technology, engineering, and math.
We were created and so we have a tendency to create. Humans are separate from every other species on Earth because of how we can master tools and simple machines. (Of course, also because the Lord made us this way.) We are inquisitive and curious. We want to make things and make other things better.
Simple machines are made to make doing work easier. Who doesn’t like that!? Kids enjoy exploring how things work, and we can help them.
There are six different categories that simple machines fall into.
Here are the six categories of simple machines:
Wedge – (Not potato wedges) A wedge is a slanted object in the shape of a 3D triangle with one edge sharp.
Lever – A lever is a bar that rests or pivots on a turning point that can be used to lift or move large loads.
Wheel and axle – This simple machine uses a wheel and rod attaché din the middle of it to lift or move loads. It pushes objects together.
Pulley – A pulley uses a wheel with a groove in it and a rope. You pull on one end to change directions or to move an object.
Inclined plane – An inclined plane is a flat surface with one end that is higher than the other. Heavy objects slide down the plane – way easier than lifting.
Screw – A screw is an inclined plane wrapped around a pole to lift things or to hold things together.
These simple machines were first discovered by a Greek philosopher, Archimedes. Galileo was the first to work a mathematical theory for the simple machines. Another cool fact is that a bicycle uses every kind of these simple machines to make a more complex machine.
Simple machines may seem a little dull to us, but when it comes to our kids they may see it differently. Especially, if we use hands-on resources and actually try to make a simple machine. The resources below can help.
Absolutely free simple machine resources and printables:
Fabulous Force and Motion FREE | 3 Teacher Chicks
FREE Simple Machines Notebooking Pages & Matchbooks | The Notebooking Nook
Simple Machines Choice Homework Enrichment FREE Activity | Samson’s Shoppe
Free Simple Machines Activity – Scavenger Hunt | Created by Kelly Ann
Simple Machine Unit Study with FREE Printables | Stacy Sews and Schools
Identify the Six Simple Machines (Free Worksheets) | Student Handouts
Simple Machines Don’t Have to Be Boring (Free Download) | Learning Hypothesis
Interactive notebook foldables –Simple Machines | Satsumas and Bees
Introducing Simple Machines to Kids (with Free Printable) | Pinay Homeschooler
Pulley Pictures and Simple Machines Information Cards | The Natural Homeschool
Simple Machines Match Worksheet | Have Fun Teaching
Budget-friendly simple machine resources:
Digital Google Classroom Simple Machines Flip Book Activity | Samson’s Shoppe
Grade 2 Science Simple Machines | Stop and Smell the Crayons
Anchor Chart Posters Classroom Décor Simple Machines / Create a Park Project | Samson’s Shoppe
STEM: Upcycling to make SIMPLE MACHINES, to Grow Plants, Feed Birds & MORE! | Miss Courtney’s Crew
Simple Machines Unit: A Non-Fiction Resource w/ Flip Book & Archimedes | Heart 2 Heart Teaching
Shutterfold for Interactive Science Simple Machines Notebooks | Upper Grades Are Awesome
Flip Book, Anchor Charts, Matching Cards Simple Machines | Camping Teacher
Sorting Mats – Simple Machines | Peanut Butter Fish Lessons
3 Printable Worksheets- 6 Simple Machines | Tim’s Printables
Projects for hands-on learning all about simple machines:
30 Simple Machine Projects for Kids| 123 Homeschool 4 Me
6 Projects for Learning about Simple Machines | Stem Education Guide
Learn About Simple Machines by Racing Race Cars! | The Primary Brain
Pulley Experiment for Kids | 123 Homeschool 4 Me
How to Make a Pulley with Kids – Easy Science Activity | Carrots are Orange
Books on Simple Machines:
Simple Machines: Wheels, Levers, and PulleysThames & Kosmos Simple Machines Science Experiment & Model Building Kit, Introduction to Mechanical Physics, Build 26 Models to Investigate The 6 Classic Simple MachinesYou Wouldn’t Want to Live Without Simple Machines! (You Wouldn’t Want to Live Without…)K’NEX Education – Intro to Simple Machines: Levers and Pulleys Set – 178 Pieces – For Grades 3-5 – Construction Education ToySimple Machines: Real Size ScienceSimple Machines : The Way They Work – Physics Books for Kids | Children’s Physics BooksSimple Machines: Forces in Action (Do It Yourself)Simple Machines (Let’s-Read-and-Find-Out Science 2)
Simple machines have been used for thousands of years and still will be used for thousands more. It isn’t easy to teach about simple machines. If your kids don’t seem “into” it then it may deter you from even trying.
However, by using these resources and making some simple machines of your own, your kids can experience the beginnings of exploring science, technology, engineering, and math. Who knows? At least create the foundation for them. Your child can be the next big inventor or engineer of the future.
Jeannette is a wife, mother and homeschooling mom. She has been mightily, saved by grace and is grateful for God’s sovereignty throughout her life’s journey. She has a Bachelor in English Education and her MBA. Jeannette is bi-lingual and currently lives in the Tongan Islands of the South Pacific. She posts daily freebies for homeschoolers!
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