Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Wheels Make It Easier To Push Daddy Around!

So far we have examined how we use simple machines to make it easier to do things:  we have discovered that it is easier to pull something using a pulley and that ramps or inclined planes can make something roll down faster.  We now introduce our new simple machine: the Wheel and Axle.

We started by examining how wheels make it easier to move something.  Daddy happened to arrive home as we were about to start our activity and so he became our test subject!

I put a board out on the driveway and asked daddy to sit on it. I told the girls that daddy wanted to go for a ride around the driveway - could they please move daddy around.  Well they pushed and pulled but daddy did not move.

(Please pardon our hair in the these pictures but we have severe helmet hair from riding our bikes in the southern afternoon heat).

So we asked them what they like to ride around the driveway and they said their scooters.   After thinking about what makes our scooters so fun:  go fast and easy to push or ride.  We took a closer look and decided it was the wheels that made that all happen.  So what if we put wheels on the board?

After putting the scooters under the board we asked daddy to sit back on.  Boy, were there giggles as they pulled daddy along the drive way!  Until....

... we got a bit off balance.  Bug was definitely better at pulling her scooter along and so her side go ahead of little Bear and the board hit the wheels and did not go any further.   This lead to a fun discussion about how the board was like an axle and we need to keep the wheels inline with each other.   So daddy took a turn "driving" our contraption around...

...and the girls zoomed back and forth along the driveway.   We really enjoyed this activity and the girls played with it for a while even if it got a little off balance.

We can't wait to see your pictures of your kids pushing daddy around too ;-)


  • 2 scooters
  • 1x8 plank (from the scrap discount wood part at our local hardware store)/container that would fit on the scooters


  1. Place the board or container on the ground and ask someone to sit on it.
  2. Ask the other person to push them around on the plank.
  3. Lift the plank onto 2 scooters and have someone sit on the plank again.  {Make sure your scooters are in line with each other}
  4. Now try and push the person on the plank again.


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