Thursday, April 16, 2015

Build a Funicular Train

Did you know there were such things as funicular trains?  I learned about them from a train book that my son and I read together.  Apparently these trains are used to move people up and down steep cliffs. Two cars are attached via a cable and one car moves up the mountain as another moves down.  Now of course, you know me.... I just had to try making a funicular train for our lego minifigures.... especially after we enjoyed playing with our cardboard conveyor belt so much!

Let's Build a Funicular Train!

how to build a funicular train with kids- great transportation craft and activity for train lovers!

Ok, this was so easy to make, you could probably just scan the photos and make one for yourself within minutes.  Here's what I did.

First, I cut out the bendy portions from two straws. Then, I cut out a super long string and wrapped one end with masking tape.

Then, we strung the two bendy straw bits on by pushing the masking tape through the straws' openings with a skewer.  Then, I tied the two ends of the yarn together and trimmed.

Then, I taped one straw to the wall and the other straw to the ground.

(Ok.  Design point here:  Looking back, I could have made this a lot sturdier if I just looped the top portion onto a door knob instead of sticking it to the wall.  Oh well.  Live and learn.)

Then, I taped one cup to one string at the top and one cup to the other string on the bottom.  (I also tried to strategically tape the cup right over the knot....  so that it wouldn't get caught in the straw.)

And that was it!  Now our lego minifigures can get free rides up and down the wall.  (We also added a cute mountain cutout to the wall and reattached the funicular train to that.  It was fun to color and  cute to photograph, but definitely not as sturdy.  Our tape kept pulling our paper mountain off the wall.)

Here's a video showing how our train worked:

how to build a funicular train from Pink Stripey Socks on Vimeo.

And if you liked this craft, here are 18 other transportation crafts to do with little kids! 

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Happy creating, friends!