Simple Machines

No. 4 of The Explorer’s Library

Simple Machines by Tinybop

Explore the playful side of physics.

pulley scene

Discover how simple machines work

Use a lever, screws, wheels and axles, inclined planes, wedges, and pulleys to send satellites into orbit, split an iceberg, make music, and more!

wheel scene

Conduct your own experiments

Change each machine and see what happens: can a scooter travel as fast and far as a bike? How many pulleys do you need to lift a spaceship?

lever scene

Investigate invisible forces

See how each machine changes the direction, distance, or strength of your force. How do they make it easier to destroy the castle or lift a fish tank?

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Keep learning

Find activities and questions designed to help you support your kids’ learning in our expert-reviewed Simple Machines Handbook.

Download for free in English, Deutsch, Español, Français, 日本語, Pусский, and 简体中文.

wedge scene with labels

Learn in 40+ languages

Interactive labels in 40+ languages, including Chinese, Russian, German, French, Spanish, Japanese — and more!

James Gilleard

Meet the artist

James Gilleard is an illustrator and animator, based in London. He loves cartoons from the 1950s, birds, dinosaurs, robots, 1960s cars, and loads of other rubbish. His inspirations for Simple Machines included the artist Mary Blair’s work. Learn more about James in our interview.

  • Kid tested

    Tinybop apps are rigorously tested for and by kids ages 4+.

  • Play & learn

    Our apps support Next Generation Science Standards. Teachers, get more info here.

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