Introducing Simple Machines to Kids (with Free Printable)

Monday, July 18, 2016

This summer, Mavi requested that we do some science lessons that we haven’t touched before (math’s a different story though).  Thus previously, we had types of fossils and a review of clouds.  Last week, he was watching the story of the caveman on how they were able to build tools that helped them build houses, kill animals for food and clothing and for protection.  As you can see, in his spare time, he loves to spend time in the yard and looks for ways to create an axe using a stick and a stone.  With this interest, I introduced him to simple machines.
Simple machines could be the very first technology man created.  First, I introduced the six simple machines using:
Once we’re done discussing and understanding the concepts, I made Mavi sort out the picture cards.  These are picture cards of different modern technologies that are examples of simple machines.  You can purchase the cards from Montessori Print Shop.
I’m quite surprised he did pretty well!  Some of which were confusing but he managed to match them accordingly. 
We also discussed the tasks these simple machines do such as lifting heavy weights, moving heavy objects, tightening or loosening screws, cutting, securing objects etc.
After the sorting, we identified tools in the house that are simple machines.  Sorry I have no photos here as I was busy walking around with him and discussing the concept. So here are the objects in our house that are simple machines:
  • The curtain roller blinds (pulley)
  • knife (wedge)
  • door knob (wheel and axle)
  • Scissor (lever)
  • lids (screw)
  • inclined plane (parking space)
Since this was an on the spot lesson, I didn’t prepare any materials.  If you are looking for learning materials, I suggest you check out the following:
We moved on to discuss compound machines, but they’re complex now and would be best explored if we talked about human inventions!  And yes, we’ll probably explore that soon!

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Simple Machines


  1. Oh my! Bulldozer would LOVE this!!! I'm going to have to implement this into our studies sometime soon.

  2. So many fabulous ideas here for simple machines! Little Bee will love this one day. The printable is awesome!