Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Do Wheels Make Work Easier?

Wheel and Axle

This simple machine is a wheel attached to a rod. The rod is the axle.

Examples: wagon wheel, car wheels, car steering wheel, ferris wheel, doorknob

Activity 1


  • 3 straws
  • book

  • Put a book on a desk or table.
  • Push the book.
  • Place the straws on the table and place the book on top of the straws.
  • Predict if the book will be easier or harder to push.
  • Push the book. (The book should move easier.)
  • Answer the question, "Do wheels make work easier?"


Rolling the book causes less friction than sliding the book. The less friction the easier it is to move something.

Activity 2

  • A toy car

  • Predict if a toy car will move easier on its side or on its wheels.
  • Place a toy car on its side.
  • Push the car.
  • Place the toy car on its wheels.
  • Push the car.
  • Answer the question, "Do wheels make work easier?"

Activity 3

Have the children create a list of machines with wheels and sketch or draw pictures of some of the machines. They can also look in books and magazines to see how many pictures they can find of machines with wheels.

Activity 4

Have the children make racing cars  (with wheels and axles) out of recycled materials. (Then they can have races with the cars!)


  • toilet paper roll
  • paint
  • thumb tack/push pin
  • 4 small bottle caps (same size)
  • 1 straw
  • 2 tooth picks
  • scissors
  • paper punch
  • glue

The directions can be found at Mama-Jenn's  blogspot.
Click Here: Mama Jenn's Rollin' Race Cars

Have fun!


  1. This is a great lesson! Thank you for sharing!

  2. Great Blog Marcia! Visiting from HHH. Thanks for visiting mine too! :)

  3. Use automotive-safe products in cleaning tires or wheels or the entire car.Other products may have some ingredients that can cause damage to the parts or accessories.

    casters wheels & heavy duty casters with brakes



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