Science Club – Wind Up Toys

Arrival Craft: Jumping frogs, an origami craft. I found lots of fun templates online like this one! No automatic alt text available.

Introduction: There are different types of energy. Potential energy is stored energy that can be used later. This is very useful for lots of things.

When we wind up an elastic band, or a clockwork motor, we are turning our kinetic energy into potential energy that can be stored until we want to turn it back into kinetic energy again.

Individual Task: Making wind-up dinosaurs. I got these in a kit from Baker RossNo automatic alt text available.

Older children can also complete an energy worksheets. energystories

Break for drink and snack.

Second part: When we wind up the clockwork motors, a metal spring inside gets wound tighter and tighter, our kinetic energy is turned into elastic potential energy. When we release the spring, it quickly returns to its original shape, turning the potential energy back into kinetic energy that moves the dinosaur forwards.

The metal spring is inside a box, though, so we can’t actually see this happening. It’s easier to see this effect, if we wind up an elastic band. Demonstrate rubber-band powered boat. 


Individual Task: Make boats powered by elastic bands to take home.

I gave out styrofoam plates, and the children cut boat shapes out. They then cut a small square to be the paddle out of the back of the boat. They wrapped an elastic band around the paddle and the boat to power the boat.

I covered my boat in duck tape, which made it quite jolly.


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