We love simple machines


Simple machines are everywhere and we use them everyday. They’re so much a part of our lives that we don’t always recognize them. But once you start thinking about them, it’s hard not to see them — everywhere, everyday!

Above, Youngna used a screwdriver — a wheel and axle — to take apart bookshelves before moving. Here are a few more examples we’ve noticed lately.

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Stairs are inclined planes.

“On a recent vacation to Barcelona, I was grateful for every staircase I found. Barcelona can get pretty hilly. Stairs can make the climb a bit longer—but easier!”

— Ashley


Scissors are made up of levers and wedges.

“I collect scissors. The big scissors cut through plastic packaging, while the little ones are perfect for cutting herbs from my window garden.”

— Melissa



“My favorite weekend activity is sailing. Pulleys are used to adjust and tighten the boat’s sails.”

— Jessie


A rolling pin is a wheel and axle.

“I use a rolling pin to make pierogis.”

— Rob


Another pulley!

“I spied this pulley hanging above the window of an old home in my neighborhood. It must have been used to move furniture in and out.”— Sara


A sledding hill is an inclined plane.

Raul’s kids use an inclined plane to travel up and down (quickly!).

Have you used a simple machine lately? Let us know! Share a photo on Twitter or Instagram and use the hashtags #simplemachines and #tinybop.