Straw Fingers

My son is fascinated by robotics and AI. While looking into easy projects around the topic, we found this super simple way of mimicking the joints of a finger with a plastic drinking straw! He was immediately intrigued by the project and loved playing with the curling straw. He took this simple mechanism and continued to expand on it to see what other contraptions he could build!

  1. Ages: 3 - 11

  2. <30 minutes

  3. A little messy

Step-by-step tutorial

  • Step 1

    Use your scissor to make angled cuts on a straw. 

    Photo reference of how to complete step 1

  • Tip

    Make sure the straw is still intact and that you're not cutting all the way through the straw.

  • Step 2

    Repeat step one two more times. Try spacing out the cuts to imitate the joints in your finger!

    Photo reference of how to complete step 2

  • Step 3

    Cut the string just a bit longer than the straw and thread it through the straw. Tape one end of the string to the end of the straw.

    Photo reference of how to complete step 3

  • Done!

    On the other end, pull on the excess string and watch your straw finger curl! How many more fingers can you create? Challenge yourself by making a straw hand using cardboard - you might even be able to pick something up with your hand mechanism!

    Photo reference of how to complete step 4

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