There is a construction site near our house with a huge crane – we like to watch it. I have been thinking about how we could make our own crane... and I finally came up with a solution.
I stored up two thick cardboard rolls (from cling wrap packs) – these are very sturdy and do not bend. I also found a narrow box from amazon which is made from thick, strong cardboard. I hunted around for another cardboard roll, this time it needed to be slightly wider (not longer) than the cling wrap rolls. The only thing I could find was a toilet paper roll, the width was perfect! I would have preferred something a little sturdier though (see design note at the end of this post).
|The toilet paper roll needs to fit tightly in the box so I cut the hole slightly too small|
|Inside the box: I weighed the box down with rocks for stability|
|Folded down edges of the thick cardboard roll to create a nook|
|For extra strength I taped the rolls together|
For the top of the crane I joined the two cling wrap rolls together. With a sharp knife I cut four shallow incisions at the top of the vertical roll. This enabled me to push down the edges and create a little nook for the horizontal roll to sit in it. It also gave me more surface area to apply glue. I used my hot glue gun to apply glue to the pushed down bits and then held the horizontal roll in place while the glue dried. For extra strength I also taped the rolls together with packaging tape.
Because one end is short and one long I decided to glue (with the hot glue gun) a rock into the short end to act as a counter balance.
The rock wasn't enough so I made some little weights using my little concrete blocks. I also made a bucket for the crane by skewering some holes into one of the kids stackable cups. I made a small cut in the top of the horizontal roll for the bucket's string to sit in..... and so, reduce the chance of the bucket flying off as the crane gets swung around.
Design note: The toilet paper roll succumbed to the pressure of play so I have now replaced it with a paper towel roll instead – it is longer and thicker. I have hot glued the roll in place and I am going to add a layer of sticky tape too. I suspect that this area of the crane will need repair from time to time.
|Repaired crane – I replaced the tp roll with a paper towel roll, it is held in place with hot glue.|
|The new paper towel roll was smaller than the tp roll so I used hot glue to plug the gaps|
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