Building with LEGO® is pretty cool and great for STEM activities! This time, my son wanted to try out a zip line like we had seen in a book. I knew there would be several interesting concepts he could explore through hands on play! Check out our collection of awesome LEGO® building ideas for kids. So many great ways to incorporate LEGO® into a STEM environment!
BUILD A LEGO ZIP LINE FOR KIDS!
BUILD A LEGO ZIP LINE FOR EXPLORING SLOPES, TENSION AND GRAVITY
Science is everywhere! You don’t need to purchase a fancy science kit. We love to do STEM activities using simple items from around the house, with inexpensive materials and supplies you may already have on hand!
This LEGO zip line building idea below is truly the perfect way for kids to look at ordinary items in new ways and invent something different with them. Science doesn’t just come in a box, well today maybe a LEGO® box!
HOW TO MAKE A LEGO ZIP LINE
Getting started with a LEGO zip line. My son’s idea was to build something for a LEGO® guy to sit in as he zipped down the line. This is a great opportunity to test out those master builder skills!
YOU WILL NEED:
- Basic LEGO bricks
- Parachute cord or string
I helped him start by putting a LEGO minifigure on a base and suggested that he build up and around him! When he reached the top, I told him he needed to leave a space for our parachute cord to slide through. He wanted to use two curved pieces, but they are not necessary.
So now that you have your LEGO® man safely secured in his contraption, it’s time to set up your LEGO zip line.
OUR FIRST LEGO ZIP LINE
We actually started by securing the parachute cord to door handle and then securing the other end on the railing of our 2nd floor balcony.
My son was very excited….until it crashed and broke. Here’s a good time to explore some scientific concepts like slopes, gravity, force, etc !
Make sure to ask questions!
- What makes the man travel faster down the zip line?
- Is a steep slope better?
- What happens to the LEGO® man when he gets to the end?
For our first zip line, the angle of the slope was too great, gravity pulled it down very fast, there was no breaking method or friction to slow him down, and the force that he hit the wall with broke him apart! Read more about our zip line fun below.
OUR SECOND LEGO ZIP LINE
We cut the parachute cord shorter. Again I attached it to the door handle, but I showed him how we could be the other anchor for the zip line.
By keeping tension on the line and raining our arm up and down, we could control the slope of the zip line. He loved that he could use the lego zip line to make the LEGO® man travel back and forth.
If my son did not keep the cord tight however, the LEGO® man was stuck. Great hand-eye coordination activity too!
What he learned through hands-on play with the LEGO® zip line!
- speed up the lego man by increasing the angle of the slope
- slow down or stop the lego man by evening out the angle of the slope
- return the lego man by decreasing the angle of the slope
- gravity works to pull the LEGO man down the zip line but the angle of the slope can slow gravity
- tension on the cord is needed to maintain travel
Build a quick and simple LEGO® zip line with just a couple of items! Next time maybe we will add a pulley system, but for now this playful, easy LEGO® zip line was perfect for afternoon play. The discoveries made will last a lifetime!
We love LEGO for learning and playing with at our house!
Click on the image below or on the link for more fun LEGO activities.