Making Mechanical Toys (Automata):

The Old-Fashioned Arts & Crafts Way,

and the New Lego Kits and the New Laser-Cut 3-D Printing Ways...

Skip downward toward the page bottom, for the New High-Tech Pre-Fabricated Ways

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1. A Montessori School Very Kool Music Video

Kids know what to do! (with a Spirited-Alive Teacher : ) and she made a Very Kool Music Video by making a slideshow

of their simple cardboard automata fun...

2. The PIE Institute (Play--Invent--Explore) at the San Francisco Exploratorium.

CAUTION: Hot Glue guns are NOT for student-use! They should only be used by the Teacher/Adults.

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They made this video in India, working with adult Tibetan monks, making their own mechanical toys...

NOTE: Some of the mechanisms they are using are NOT so simple! But it is a fun creative introduction to watch...

That is why starting with single-cams are better for the Montessori School video demonstrates...

3. Here are some photographs of wood-constructed simple single cam mechanical toys

from one of my flickr photo albums... made by students in England, with their teacher's assistance.

British schools require all students to make mechanical toys!; it is part of their national curriculum).

And these 2 videos show how similar examples actually move! :-)


4. And a wonderful brief step-by-step instructional video for making a cardboard alligator mechanical toy, (once again from England :-)

The Teacher's name is Paul Newham; He has a fantastic website and tons of video projects for elementary level

mechanical toys and crafts:


5. And here is a photograph of my home-made single-cam toy 'carousel' and accompanying (1 minute) video

from my flickr photo-sharing website.

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6. And many more automata examples are at Pinterest "Automata" (made with wood, paper, wire, etc.)

and paper-crafting projects at Pinterest_Paper Toys

7. And there is even a much simpler Mega Website from India called "Toys from Trash", that is endless Toy-Making fun

focused on Elementary School projects... by TED Genius, Arvind Gupta... Make sure you check out his instructional

videos ("films") on Youtube:

The older ones are better (from 5+ years ago...) and he has 100's, so keep pressing "load more"!!!

And here is his homepage:

Toys from Trash Birds_1.jpg Toys from Trash Birds_2.jpg


8. TimberKits instructional video and product list from England

Product List


1. The Wizard: A LEGO automata

Mind Boggling sophisticated system of gears and linkages etc.

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Updates will continue all summer 2017...


That's plenty to keep you busy all year (and all your life...)