Moving Toys being made in D&T lessons can be a fun part of any project about toys, it opens up an understanding of how they work and how they were made. There are lots of websites to support teachers and children who want to make moving toys:
A Collection of Mechanical Toys – a video provided by BBC Bitesize is a nice introduction to movements – including levers, cams and gears, elastic bands etc – that are used in toys to make them move. What I love most of all is the creative writing activity suggested to go with it!
There is a free Moving Toys Booklet, shared by a teacher known as hellcorner, in TES: “I compiled this booklet for Year 5’s unit on moving toys using cams. You can change the individual pages depending on what topic you are doing that term – we made ours with an Egyptian theme this year.” (TES) This is a great worksheet for using cams in toy making.
Primary Resources – has a whole set of resources created by teachers that are linked with cams, moving vehicles, moving toys, moving monsters, shape cards, pop-up story books etc. There are also fairground rides here using pulleys and elastic bands.
The Technology Student – provides a whole section on Mechanism; it has lesson plans about cams, what they are, how to use them and has videos to help. There is a Cam Toy Project (below), which is something you could make in school, if you are looking for inspiration!
The Salesforce.com site follows on to more complex mechanism including cranks and ratchets, too much for most children but useful if there are any mechanically minded pupils who want to explore further.
Robives Designing Paper Animations – this site sells some wonderful paper animation kits, they are very reasonable if a teacher wishes to have one or two as demonstration materials. In addition, it provides some really useful teaching explanations for mechanisms, including Worm Gears, reciprocating motion, etc. It also has very useful techniques guidance.
– shares a great free downloadable PDF document called Making Moving Toys which could be used with KS1. It starts with lolly sticks making an expandable trellis – simple and effective.
Top Marks offer resources for Looking at Mechanisms, Moving Toys and Mechanisms –explore cams, gears, levers and pulleys in a fun way; however, unfortunately, none of these are tablet friendly, they all need Flash.