Climbing Critters

Make and Takes had a great post on how to make simple “climbing critters” – cardstock animals you mount on a loop of string – when you pull on the ends of the string, they “climb.” They stated that turtles, butterflies, ladybugs, caterpillars, and fish are the easiest to draw.

From Make and Takes

Our 3 and 4 year old students have a harder time creating original drawings for projects, so we give them a template of a monkey I found on

Here’s how to make this fun craft:

  • Decorate a monkey ( or design your own critter). Cut it out.
  • Flip it over, and tape two 1-inch straws on it as shown.
  • Tape a penny (or a washer) on the bottom of the back side. (This is a weight that helps it to slide back down when you stop pulling on the strings.)
  • Thread string up through one straw and down through the other, making a loop on the top side of your critter.
  • Tie a bead on each end of the string (this stops them from slipping out through the straws and dropping the monkey on the floor.)
  • Hang it over a doorknob, coat hook or closet rod.
  • Pull on both strings at the same time, pulling them away from each other , and it will “climb.”

These are our take home project when we study levers in our simple machines unit, because the strings act as a lever with the straw serving as the fulcrum when you pull up.

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