Outdoor Fun with Pulleys

My children were getting bored with the same outdoor setting. It was time to change it up a bit. I remembered a creative idea I received from Jeff A. Johnson of Explorations Early Learning. I decided to take his pulley idea OUTSIDE.


Essentially, a pulley is a machine that lifts a load. I placed my pulleys near a load, or in this case, the rocks directly under the pulleys and the sand in the sand box covered by a tarp in the photo.


I gathered the needed supplies from a locate retail store.


  • #4 Screw Eye (eye hook)
  • 3/16″ Quick Link
  • 1-1/4″ Utility Pulley
  • 3″x1/2″ Snap Hook (Not pictured. This is the part at the end of the rope which attaches the rope to the handle of the bucket.)


I strip tied a section of the rope to allow the children more control when first being introduced to a pulley system. I didn’t demonstrate how to use a pulley, but let “cause and effect” help pave their way to learning.


Burn the ends of your rope to prevent fraying.


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by Pamela J. Stefanich , Family Child Care Professional