How To Make A Zip Line: This super cute Valentine’s Day Craft is a fun way to focus on STEM principals at home and can be easily adapted for older kids too.
Being the mom of three boys means one very important fact: I am their Queen on Valentine’s Day. I get completely spoiled with lots of flowers and candy. The best part is that they give me so many adorable candy boxes that they lose track of my candy supply and I can finally stop sharing it with all of them (bonus)! The only time my evil plan fails is if they accidentally see me shove something in my mouth and they don’t believe me when I tell them it’s broccoli – because it’s never broccoli, so I have to ensure that each child gets their equal share of “my” forgotten chocolates.
So since I have to give up (I mean happily share!) all of my goods to these three adorable faces, you better believe I’m going to make them work for it and learn something! That’s why we decided to make this super cute Valentine’s Day Craft together and share it with all of you. This way, everyone knows how to make a zip line with their kids because it’s really important to know how to get candy from one end of the room tot he other, right? 😉 (And yes, I’m already wondering if I can make a zip line for adults to cart beer from the kitchen to the living room – stay posted.)
Before the kids and I went in search of materials for this Valentine’s Day Craft, I wanted to make sure that they understood what was involved in making a zip line. Even though our materials are very basic, there’s a lot of complexity involved in learning how to make a zip line and I wanted them to know why we needed all of these different parts to make the craft work.
I handed my five and three-year-old sheets of paper and asked them to draw down their ideas. I have to admit, I was very impressed! My five-year-old suggested using pipe cleaners because they’re durable and could bend to connect our plates to the ribbon. I was thinking we could use popsicle sticks, but his idea was so much better!
My three-year-old insisted that we decorate it with hearts. I’ll take any opportunity to not design something that looks like a superhero, so I was very excited to hear about hearts! After they were done with their drawings, we took our “blueprints” and got to work. This super cute craft is a really easy way to focus on STEM principals at home and can be easily adapted for older kids too.
HOW TO MAKE A ZIP LINE FOR KIDS
- A durable box to hold candy. One of the boys picked out a holiday treat box and the other one wanted to use the bottom of a heart-shaped Valentine’s Day candy box. (Mainly so he can eat all of the candy inside. He’s totally my son!)
- Pipe cleaners
- Decorations, like heart stickers, if desired.
- Thick rope. (We love using clothesline rope because it can hold a lot of weight, but any type of strong string or rope will do.)
- Command strip hooks. (If you don’t mind small holes in the wall, you can use tacks or nails.)
- Secure line hook
- A small knife to cut holes in the box
- And of course, candy!
Step 1: Decorate the box. Then, have an adult cut a hole in two sides of the box. If you’re using a circle or heart box, use your judgement if additional holes are needed to keep the tray balanced when hung.
Step 2: Insert a pipe cleaner into each hole and bend around the bottom to secure onto the box. Meet two (or more) pipe cleaners together at the top and twist together.
Note: At first we tried connecting the hook around the pipe cleaners, but after a few minutes of zip-lining the pipe cleaners gave in. You can tape them together, but instead my five-year-old suggested using the ribbon to give it “some slack and take on the weight more.” (OMG, I love him.) You can either add an additional ribbon or improvise with what you have around the house.
Step 3: Attach the secure hook to the ribbon. Put aside project.
Step 4: Tie the clothesline rope to both of the nails or command hooks. It’s best to have one of the sides lower so the tray travels on its own.
Step 5: Fill the box with candy (and eat some).
Step 6: Hook the candy tray to the rope with the secure hook and let it go!
Add-on: The kids loved the zip-line so much we continued to experiment. We use the Scientific Method and followed the steps to determine how much weight it could hold while we kept adding toys and more candy.
Enjoy the candy delivery!
Want more Valentine’s Day crafts for kids?
- kids craft: valentine’s paper heart mobile
- kids craft: hanging heart decoration
- intertwined hearts (twine hearts garland)
- kids craft: valentine’s day wiggle eye rings