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Age Range: 7-11
Duration: 60 or more mins
  • D & T
  • Science

Animal graphics project

Make an amazing animal in this graphics project for kids

Learn about simple mechanisms and make an Amazing Animal that moves in this fun and creative activity for kids!

Students will use templates to help them cut out the parts for a DIY cardboard animal, and they will make the parts of a simple mechanism using cams and linkages, which will be attached to a round shaft made from a skewer; This will allow the legs of the Amazing Animal to move up and down slowly.

This activity could be used as a main lesson activity to teach learners about simple mechanisms and how the direction of motion can change from rotary to reciprocating.

Activity: Animal graphics project

This is one of a series of free STEM resources designed to support the delivery of key topics within science and design and technology. This resource focuses on making an engaging graphic product out of cardboard that uses a simple mechanism to facilitate movement.

This activity could be carried out individually or in pairs. The teacher presentation could be left on the whiteboard as a supporting guide as they do this. Learners may need assistance cutting the cardboard to ensure the cuts are accurate.

As an optional extension activity, learners could add their own designs to their animal’s body and legs. Keeping the white paper template stuck to the legs allows them to be decorated as desired.

Tools/resources required

  • Card tubes
  • Wooden skewers
  • Glue sticks/ glue
  • sticky tack
  • Cardboard
  • Brass split pin fasteners


The engineering context

Mechanisms are used in almost every moving product, ranging from trains and cars to washing machines and door handles that must be pushed down to open, see-saws and scissors. They either transmit motion or change it in some way, increasing or decreasing its strength, quality, or type.

Suggested learning outcomes

By the end of this activity, students will be able to understand that a linkage and cam can create movement, they will be able to make an amazing animal from graphics materials, and they will be able to use cams and linkage to make the legs move on the amazing animal.

Download the free Animal graphics project activity sheet below!

All activity sheets and supporting resources are free to download, and all the documents are fully editable, so you can tailor them to your students’ and your schools’ needs.

The activity sheet includes teacher notes, guidance, useful web links, and links (where appropriate) to the national curriculum in each of the four devolved UK nations; England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales.

Please share your classroom learning highlights with us @IETeducation.

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