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Rapunzel’s Tower Pulley Simple Machine

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Want to teach about the Pulley Simple Machine in a really unique way?
I have been doing a series of fairy tale STEM projects recently and they are so much fun!  This Rapunzel’s Tower Pulley is a really cool way to teach about pulley simple machines.
pulley simple machine Rapunzel's tower
I would term this more of a STEAM project (adding the A incorporates ART). You get the science of pulleys and the art of decorating it as well as a little bit of engineering to design your tower.

We found this idea in a book we got at the library called Crafts From Your Favorite Fairy Tales, by Kathy Ross and Vicky Enright.  It’s an adorable book and has some cute craft ideas that my daughter truly adored.

Today I will show you how to make the Rapunzel Tower project from this book.  What I love about it is that is incorporates and educational concept, but is also crafty and adorable for princess loving kids.


How to Make the Rapunzel’s Tower Pulley Simple Machine

Supplies Needed:

An empty paper towel tube or wrapping paper tube

Start the project with your paper towel tube. Paint it whatever color you would like- my daughter chose purple, of course! This is totally unnecessary, but makes it a lot cuter. You could paint it to look like bricks on a tower, too.

Cut the top to look like the top of a castle. Also, cut out a window for Rapunzel’s face.

How to Make the the Braid Pulley System

Now that your tower is decorated, you can start on the pulley simple machine part.

Cut 10 pieces of yellow yarn, (3x the length of the paper towel tube).  Fold them in half and knot the top- leaving a little loop at the top of the knot. Braid it and tie a small piece of yarn around the bottom of the braid to secure it.

Fairy Tale STEM- pulley simple machine Rapunzel's tower
Cut another piece of yarn- the same length as the braid. Tie one end of it through the looped top part of the braid.  Put the other end through the window and down through the tube.  Tie to the bottom of the braid.
Rapunzel fairy tale stem project


Using some card stock or other thick white paper, make your Rapunzel face.  Cut a circle.  Draw a little face for Rapunzel and glue some little yellow pieces of yarn around her face for her hair.   Glue the face in the edge of the window- glue on the side and bottom of the face.
fairy tale STEM- pulley simple machine
Once the glue is dry, test it out. The hair can be pulled up inside the tower by the string.  Attach a little prince figure onto it with a small clothespin to have him climb the tower to rescue her!
simple machine science- Pulleys


See more of my Fairy Tale STEM projects:

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