Pneumatic Toys – a mechanisms strand of Design Technology

In December, Year 3 enjoyed completing a Design Technology project, in which they made moving monsters with pneumatic systems.

The children began the project by learning about pneumatic systems and identifying everyday objects that use air to make them work. Following this, they learned how to make a simple pneumatic system using syringes and tubes. They were amazed, when they realized they could push/pull one syringe to control the other.

The children used their pneumatic system to complete challenges such as pushing a ball, lifting a book cover and even opening a box. After this exploration, the two classes designed their moving monsters, inspired by the prehistoric beasts they had learned about in the Connected Curriculum.

The children thought carefully about the materials they would use, how these could be attached together which part of the monster would move. Once the designs were complete, Year 3 enjoyed using a range of materials to bring the designs to life. At times, children had to adapt and try new strategies, when their original ideas didn’t work. The teachers were impressed by THE creativity, resilience and teamwork. Once the monsters were made, the children inserted the pneumatic system, and they were able to make the mouths open and close.

The children evaluated their finished toys and considered what went well and what they would improve, so that they could learn from their successes and mistakes in future projects. This popular project taught the children valuable designing and engineering skills.