Dancing Puppets

Levers are simple machines that help us move or lift something. See how levers work by making your own dancing puppet!

  1. Ages: 5 - 11

  2. <30 minutes

  3. A little messy


Materials you'll need

Step-by-step tutorial

  • Step 1

    1. Poke two holes near the top of the toilet paper tube.

  • Step 2

    2. Cut arms for your puppet about the same length as the paper tube. Use the hole punch or pencil to make two holes in the top of each arm. Then slide a paper clip onto the other end.

  • Step 3

    3. Line up the bottom arm hole with the hole in the paper tube. Use a brad to secure. Repeat to add the other arm. (Keep the brads loose. Don't press them flat against the walls of the tube).

  • Step 4

    4. Loop a string through the top arm holes and tie a knot to secure.

  • Step 5

    5. Pull down on the string to make your puppet dance.

  • Step 6

    Try this!
    - Use markers and paper shapes to decorate your puppet
    - Repeat steps 2 through 6 to add legs to your puppet.
    - Add a string to the top of your puppet to make it hang like a marionette.

  • Learn moremagnifying icon graphic

    What's going on?

    When you pull down on the string the arms go up. Why? Because your puppet's arms are levers! Levers move on a balancing point, like a seesaw. Pulling down on the string moves the arms on their balancing points, the paper fasteners, and sends them up!

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