Toy Design Workshop



Create your own unique pull-toy with animated parts - they move as they roll! Watch as tails wag, heads bob, hands wave or wrestlers 'wrassle'. Follow the engineering design process to brainstorm, construct, iterate and redesign innovative toys. Students will really build their toys, utilizing simple machines, linkages, kinetic and potential energy and mechanical advantage in their plans.

An excellent introduction to marketing and entrepreneurship, as students can develop brand identities, logos and sale pitches for their own product lines.
A truly comprehensive and amazing STEAM activity!

Age Level:
This is an educational product, not a toy. It is intended for use by ages 7 and above with adult supervision.

Toy Design Workshop Educational Goals

  • Utilize the design and engineering process 
  • Encourage creativity, problem solving and critical thinking
  • Learn about simple machines, forces, linkages, mechanical advantage
  • Integrate with marketing, entrepreneurship and industrial design
  • Innovate kinetic sculptures and toys

Completing the

Toy Design Workshop

Activity with Ages 6-11

When working with ages 6 to 11 you can choose how to proceed in the toy design workshop.

  • Choice #1 Without Labs: Go straight from the Build Guide to the Engineering Challenges, skipping the Optional Lab. This option works well when you’re doing the activity outside of a classroom, in a Makerspace, as a self-directed activity, or just for fun.
  • Choice #2 With Labs:Start with the Build Guide . After the build, use the Optional Lab to analyze how motion functions in the toy design. Once finished, you are ready to improve your toy in the Engineering Challenge. This option works well when you want to teach this activity to a class or during a class visit to a Makerspace.

     Build Guide     

Start by creating an example push/pull toy using the Build Guide. This will be a great design to get you started. You’ll start to create your own amazing designs during the engineering challenge.

     Optional Lab     

Apply many linkages to your design and see how they affect the force & motion of your push/ pull toy design.

  • Linkages Lab: PDF -- Learn about forces and how they affect objects. (Suggested Grade Levels: 2-4).

     Engineering Challenge     

You have been hired by Geek Baby Toy Company to design a new push/pull toy. Download the challenge below to get started!

  • Toy Design Workshop Engineering Challenge: : PDF or MS Word

     Optional Resources     

Engineering Notebook 

Available at two different learning levels, the TeacherGeek Engineering Notebook is designed to help students cycle thru the Design & Engineering Process and help them innovate and invent new designs. Use an Engineering Notebook page for each iteration of design. It is recommended that extra pages are printed and on-hand during activities.

  • Simple Engineering Notebook: PDF
  • Engineering Notebook:  PDF

STEAM Market-It Challenge 

Add the STEAM Market-It Challenge to any completed TeacherGeek activity to teach students how to turn their TeacherGeek design into a retail product. Students will learn the 4 'Ps' of marketing - Product, Placement, Price and Promotion. Students have the option of completing a commercial, a billboard or retail packaging as a summative assessment.

TeacherGeek Tools You'll Need

What tools will you need to build this kinetic activity?


Process Description

Recommended Tool 

Alternate Tool

Reaming Enlarging component holes for dowel rotation, axles & more





Cut components, straight or at an angle.


Shears, utility cutter




Tapping/placing components together or into holes

Mini Hammer

Hammer, Hands


Holding, Tightening, Twisting


Holds and tightens components and hardware in place



Screwing Screwing and unscrewing hardware

Stubby Screwdriver




Positions and holds components in place for tapping or otherwise

Tapping Block


Additional, Optional Supplies to Best Design a Pull-Toy:

  • Recycling Bin Components
  • Arts & Crafts Materials
  • Tape or Scissors

Toy Design Workshop Components

What's in the Toy Design Workshop Activity?


10pk Quantity:

Single Quantity:

Connector Strips



Hole Plates






Slide Stop, 75mm



Hex Nuts



1” Screws







Science & Math Standards

TeacherGeek products fit proposals, grants or lesson plans with ease! Explore more resources below:

Next Generation Science Standards
NGSS Standards Download - PDF
NGSS Standards Spreadsheet - Editable /Searchable Excel Sheet

International Technology & Engineering Educators' Association Standards
ITEEA Standards Download - PDF
ITEEA Standards Spreadsheet - Editable/Searchable Excel Sheet