Indoors or outdoors, this easy toy zip line is fun for kids. Quick science with tons of hands-on play. All you need is a few things and your favorite super hero! Explore physics through play. We chose to set our toy zip line up outdoors for our 31 Days of Outdoor STEM activities. Week one is all about outdoor science! Simple science experiments and STEM ideas that involve play are perfect for young kids!
EASY TOY ZIP LINE AND PHYSICS FOR KIDS
The easiest, quickest, funnest, cheapest, homemade toy zip line ever! We have been experimenting with different types of pulleys lately. We picked up a few different pulleys at the hardware store and have been testing them out with different items. My son has loved our super simple indoor LEGO zip line, but it is time to head outside. I wanted to make a new kind of toy zip line for everyone to use this summer. Plus it’s the perfect science activity to add to our 31 Days of Outdoor STEM activities!
Related idea: Try a simple rope and bucket activity.
This simple toy zip line is an easy DIY project the kids will love. Our toy zip line cost under $5 from the local hardware store. Plus the rope and pulley are meant to be outdoors! Since this is going to be an outdoor toy, we decided to skip using LEGO this time and grab our superheroes instead.
Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman have all signed up to take a ride on this homemade toy zip line.
TOY ZIP LINE SUPPLIES:
Clothesline: The hardware sells this and it is quite long. We could have made a super long zip line or another small zip line. Make each kid his own!
Small Pulley System: I believe this is mostly used for a bag of clothespins on an outdoor clothesline so that you can easily move it around and keep clothespins off the ground. It also makes a great homemade toy zip line for super heroes.
You will also need something to attach your toy to the pulley system. We have tons of zip ties, but you can also you string or a rubber band! The zip tie is a bit more permanent if your child is eager to change out superheroes each time.
Find two anchors to tie off your clothesline and get set for the simple science fun! My son was amazed!
One of things I like most about this simple toy zip line set up is that the pulley system does not have to be threaded onto the rope before you tie off the zip line. This way you can easily change out superhero without tying and untying the rope. Plus, since these little pulley systems are around $2, you can get each kid his own! Once his super hero gets to the bottom he can take it off and the next kid can go while the other brings his back up to the top.
LETS TALK ZIP LINE SCIENCE!
Zip lines work with gravity. The slope needs to descend and gravity will help you out. You can’t zip your toy zip line up! Test out different angles. What happens if your slope is higher, lower, or the same. Friction also comes into play because of the pulley. One surface moving over another is going to create friction which will help the zip line accelerate. You can also talk about energy, potential energy at the top when you are holding the pulley and ready to release and kinetic energy when batman is in motion.
Our superhero zipped down our toy zip line fast and smooth. Next time I am going to have to tie it up to a higher elevation. There are also many great science concepts you can discuss with the zip line like friction, energy, gravity, slopes, and angles. Like our LEGO zip line we experimented a bit by simply holding the other end of the rope and using our arm to change the angles! What happens? Does the super hero go faster or slower? You could even do zip line races!
AWESOME TOY ZIP LINE PHYSICS AND PLAY
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