Free puzzle games, stories, crafts, and printable activities for kids ages 4–12.

Marvelous MachinesMarvelous Machines
From the time kids are very young, they seem to love things that go. This week, we’re digging into that curiosity with a collection of puzzles, stories, activities, and more—all about Marvelous Machines. There are lots of reasons to support this fascination. For younger kids, exploring how things work can help build vocabulary and imagination. For older kids, machines can be an introduction to engineering and help develop essential life skills. Creativity, for example, is inherent to the design process, while optimism is important in believing that every machine can be improved. Communication and collaboration help engineers find those areas for improvement, and they may also need to make ethical considerations as they think about any unintended consequences or challenges. We hope these activities inspire and spark your kids’ curiosity to learn more!
search the scene

1. Search the Scene

These dinosaurs are hard workers! Can you work to find the objects hidden in the scene?

chicken and waffles recipe

2. Make Chicken and Waffles

Construct a tower of delicious chicken and waffles with this recipe.

spinning helicopter

3. Create a Spinning Helicopter

Build a simple helicopter with just paper and a paper clip. Give it a toss and watch it spin as it lands.

find the hidden objects

4. Find the Hidden Objects

All aboard! Find the hidden items in this train scene.

robot racers

5. Race Robots

Build these cool robots from junk-drawer items and watch them race down a ramp.

tour a train

6. Tour a Train

Take a look inside a passenger train with conductor Tim!

marvelous machines

7. Marvelous Machines

Watch our video for more on how playing with machines benefit kids.

solve a puzzle

8. Solve a Puzzle

Be a maze-solving machine as you build two paths to the cotton farmer’s house and tractor. Then see how many other farming machines you can name.

read a story

9. Read a Story

Joel finds a mechanical hand and discovers its awesome powers. But should he return it to its rightful owner? Read the story, then ask your child what would they do?

build a chain reaction machine

10. Build a Chain Reaction Machine

Follow these instructions and tips to piece together simple machines that make a chain reaction. What will your machine do?

make a mechanical card

11. Make a Mechanical Card

Make a mechanism called a cam to create a card that moves!

Do something for others

12. Do Something for Others

What are some other kind things you can do around the house? Have your kids send us their ideas at Highlightskids.com

Write, Draw, or Talk About It

13. Write, Draw, or Talk About It

Have your kids share their incredible mechanical inventions with us at Highlightskids.com.

A Bigger Digger

14. Learn About a Bigger Digger

This giant digging machine is taller than the Statue of Liberty! Find out how it works

Share a poemShare a poem