Simple Machines: Books for Kids

Children love to explore how to use simple machines. What better way to reinforce their hands-on learning than reading an age appropriate book?

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Beginning Readers

Pulleys (Simple Machines) by Martha Elizabeth Hillman Rustad

Learn about what a pulley is and how it works, with controlled vocabulary and short sentences.

Grade Level : Preschool – 2
Publisher : Capstone Press (January 1, 2018)
ISBN-10 : 1543500803
ISBN-13 : 978-1543500806

Screws (Simple Machines) by Martha Elizabeth Hillman Rustad

Explains what a screw is and how it is used.

The series covers each of the simple machines separately. For example, the next title is about inclined planes.

Grade Level : Preschool – 2
Publisher : Capstone Press (January 1, 2018)
ISBN-10 : 1543500781
ISBN-13 : 978-1543500783

Picture Books

Simple Machines  by D. J. Ward and illustrated by Mike Lowery

Part of the excellent Let’s-Read-and-Find-Out Science series. Explains the six simple machines: the lever, the wheel and axle, the pulley, the ramp, the wedge, and the screw. Has an activity suggestion.

Grade Level : Preschool – 3
Publisher : HarperCollins; Illustrated Edition (October 6, 2015)
ISBN-10 : 0062321471
ISBN-13 : 978-0062321473

Simple Machines: Wheels, Levers, and Pulleys by David A. Adler and illustrated by Anna Raff

Simple Machines introduces important mechanical vocabulary and uses easy-to-understand examples to illustrate how we use machines to solve all kinds of problems.

Grade Level : Preschool – 3
Publisher : Holiday House; Reprint Edition (January 30, 2016)
ISBN-10 : 0823435725
ISBN-13 : 978-0823435722

Pull, Lift, and Lower: A Book About Pulleys by Michael Dahl and illustrated by Denise Shea

Introduces young readers to how pulleys work using common real world examples. Includes activity suggestions.

Grade Level : Kindergarten – 4
Publisher : Picture Window Books; Illustrated Edition (January 1, 2006)
ISBN-10 : 9781404819085
ISBN-13 : 978-1404819085


Middle Grade

Simple Machines: Forces in Action (Do It Yourself) by Buffy Silverman and edited by Megan Cotugno

Explore simple machines with real world examples. Encourages older children to carry out the activities themselves.

Grade Level : 3 – 6
Publisher : Heinemann; Revised ed. Edition (August 1, 2016)
ISBN-10 : 1484636406
ISBN-13 : 978-1484636404

Smash!: Wile E. Coyote Experiments with Simple Machines by Mark Andrew Weakland and illustrated by Christian Cornia

Wile E. Coyote of cartoon fame tries to catch Roadrunner using traps made out of simple machines. Engaging series explains basic physics concepts.

Grade Level : 3 – 6
Publisher : Capstone Press (January 1, 2014)
ISBN-10 : 1476552134
ISBN-13 : 978-1476552132

Experiment Collections:

The Kids’ Book of Simple Machines: Cool Projects & Activities that Make Science Fun!by Kelly Doudna.

The Kids’ Book of Simple Machines is a hands-on science book for early elementary-aged children. It has concise explanations of the science of simple machines, clear step-by-step instructions, and enticing colorful photographs of the projects. In addition, the background information in the different sections introduces children to famous scientists and inventors, from Archimedes to the Wright brothers.

The six simple machines covered are the lever, pulley, inclined plane, wedge, wheel and axle, and screw. After a brief introduction to each type in the front, the following chapters give more in-depth information, numerous examples of the different simple machines, and several activities and projects to explore the concepts more fully.

Whether you are teaching science in the classroom, after school, or at home, The Kids’ Book of Simple Machines is a well-designed and useful resource. The young makers of the world are going to have hours of fun trying out the activities in this book.

Age Range: 5 – 9 years
Grade Level: Kindergarten – 4
Paperback: 144 pages
Publisher: Mighty Media Kids (August 25, 2015)
ISBN-10: 1938063597
ISBN-13: 978-1938063596

Explore Simple Machines!: With 25 Great Projects by Anita Yasuda and illustrated by Bryan Stone

Nomad press is known for their hands-on experiment collections. Explore the six simple machines with a series of doable projects. Great for budding engineers and physicists.

Grade Level : Kindergarten – 4
Publisher : Nomad Press; Act Edition (October 1, 2011)
ISBN-10 : 1936313820
ISBN-13 : 978-1936313822

Sensational Science Projects With Simple Machines by Robert Gardner and illustrated by Tom LaBaff

Grade Level : 3 – 4
Publisher : Enslow Elementary (March 1, 2006)
ISBN-10 : 0766025853
ISBN-13 : 978-0766025851