I found these cute climbing toys on Just Deanna, a fun crafty blog. These cute little toys work much like the wooden climbers, but are SO easy for kids to create themselves. They are so simple to make and the kids had fun learning how to make them climb and then racing with them. This is a fun toy to make when talking about friction.
- sturdy paper.
- a penny.
- one straw cut into 2 lengths that are each about 2″ long.
- string or yarn that is cut to about 6′.
- 2 beads for the ends of the string
The construction is really simple. Draw something fun on sturdy paper and cut it out. Next tape 2 parallel drinking straws about 2 inches long onto the back. You will also need to tape a penny onto your drawing to add weight. Once you have everything taped on, thread your string or yarn up through the bottom of one straw and down through the top of the next straw. Your string should be about 6′ long. Tie a cute button or bead to the bottom of each string to keep it from slipping through the straw and needing to be re-threaded.
Hook your little climbing toy over a door handle or a hook. Use a simple see-sawing motion to gently guide your climber to the top of the string. My kids also found it helpful to hold their hands slightly apart while they were gently see-sawing on the strings. These little guys climb from the friction between the straw and the string.
We did have one of the strings break, I think from the friction. It was easily fixed with another piece of yarn (because that is what we had on hand), but next time we would probably use a sturdy string.