Friction Climbers

Ages 9-16

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Engineer 3 wooden animals to explore the mechanics of friction! Make a sloth that climbs up a vine, build a gecko that shimmies up a string, and craft a spider that spools itself upward.

Includes illustrated blueprint instructions, materials, and a special-edition Tinker Zine magazine to learn more about the science of friction.


  • Spider Spooler
  • String-Climbing Sloth
  • Goin' Up Gecko
  • DIY Fluttering Chickens
  • "Feel the Friction" Tinker Zine magazine


  • Friction and Grip
  • Toy Design
  • Spool Mechanics

Using charter school funds?

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4 reviews

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    Jason T., Oct 13, 2018

    Enjoyed the sturdy quality of the 3 projects.

    We loved this project. It's great to see even our daughter's teenaged siblings having so much fun with an old-fashioned toy. No electronics necessary! We liked that there were 3 items to build in the kit, each with a different construction - and sturdier.

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    Marcus P., Aug 5, 2018

    Loved the number of projects and my child even went online to use the templates for the crate.

    There were several projects in one kit so my child was able to share it with a friend who happened to be over when it arrived. They worked together to put them together and experiemnt with them. They even went online for the template to make the dove.

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    Sam D., Jul 31, 2018

    Clear instructions and climbers were fun!

    My son enjoyed the sloth and gecko climbers the most. He thought the spider climber was a bit tricky to make work. The instructions were clear and good. My son could follow all of it by himself.

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    Jane L., Jul 23, 2018

    Liked the variety of fun animals.

    Fun animals and that there was more than one style. We loved that it taught a concept in such a fun way. Would have been nice to see an electrical aspect too.

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