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A simple pulley system

“The ability to observe without evaluating is the highest form of intelligence!” Human beings are the most successful species on Earth only for the reason of their expertise in tools and machines. This activity will teach kids about machines and in detail along with demonstration explains one of the simple prominent kinds of machines.


One look at something that expresses a thousand words regarding itself. Explaining our kids along with a live implementation of a machine will give them a strong base. A machine is anything that makes or works easier. Today and in the near future, we will be surrounded by all machines to make our works done. So, let’s initiate this process by understanding a basic mechanism.


  • Milk Carton

  • Cardboard

  • Wire or String

  • Round Stick or Wooden pencil

  • Craft Knife

  • Thick thread

  • Unused Bottle Cap

  • Scissors and Glue


  1. Cut out the two walls of the carton, such that you have a square basin, a roof over it, and two poles one opposite the other to support the roof

  2. On the roof, make two holes - one opposite the other for spindle

  3. To make a spindle using a stick:

    1. Cut out an oval piece of cardboard which will act as the handle

    2. Attach that piece to the spindle such that they form the letter ‘L’ together

    3. Then attach the handle to the other side

    4. Make holes in the cardboard and insert the pencil into it

  4. Now, insert the spindle into the openings made in the roof supports

  5. To make the spindle stronger and intact, attach another piece of cardboard on to the other end of the spindle

  6. Attach a wire handle to the unused bottle cap which will act as the bucket for the well

  7. Tie the bucket to a piece of thread and fix the other end of the thread around the spindle

Learning Opportunity:

  • Machines allow humans to accomplish more work by spending less amount of energy

  • Machines have few or no moving parts and they work by changing the direction of a force or the amount of force needed to do something

  • There are six simple machines namely the wedge, screw, lever, pulley, inclined plane, and the wheel & axle

  • Pulley System:

    • A pulley is used to move things from a lower area to a higher one or rather to move load vertically

    • The wheel in a pulley allows us to change the direction of a force

    • As we pull down the rope, the wheel turns and whatever is attached to the other end goes up

    • Pulleys also have an ability to combine with other pulleys in order to move heavier loads

Time Required: 30 minutes

Cost: NIL

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