What could be better than learning about friction and landforms while crafting a fun hands-on toy? Not much if you're a 9- or 5-year old boy. I speak from experience.
My sons had a blast with this.
Here's how we made our mountain climbers … that actually climb!
For each mountain climber, you'll need:
Mountain climber template (download my free PDF from Google Drive here)
Heavyweight cardstock paper
Plastic drinking straw
2 pony beads
Markers, colored pencils, crayons, etc.
Profile picture of your child's head (optional)
How to Make a Climbing Mountain Climber
1. Print the mountain climber onto cardstock and cut out. If desired, cut out the face and glue your child's photo in its place to personalize.
2. Color the climber.
3. Cut two short lengths of plastic drinking straw and tape each vertically (parallel from each other) onto the back of your climber's body.
4. Under them, tape the penny for weight.
5. Now cut a long length of yarn. Thread it through one length of the straw and down through the other.
6. Tie a pony bean on each end of the yarn. This will prevent the yarn from slipping back through the straws.
7. Now place the loop above the head of the climber over a door handle.
8. With each end of the yarn in one hand, pull the yarn apart and watch your climber travel up toward the door handle. That's the summit!
9. Bring your hands and the yarn strands back toward each other and watch the climber descend the "mountain" now that you've reduced friction.
Read Up on Mount Everest
To explain the massive feat of climbing Mount Everest, we turned to some great authors and books. My sons enjoyed these and we learned a ton … like how incredibly dangerous the trek really is, how long it takes, and how trying it is on the human body. Count us out!
Want to extend the learning? Have kids use register tape or post-it notes to tack up along the wall with milestones a climber would encounter on their journey up the mountain - from basecamp, to tree line, to snow line, to ice falls, and the summit. Kids will have fun slowly working their climber up to each.