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Picture of SkyParade: an Invitation for Open Ended Creativity With LEGO
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SkyParade is an invitation for kids of all ages to build a unique LEGO cable car and send it out over a course made out of string. It works best as a drop in activity in which kids can create anything they can imagine in the spirit of the LEGO Idea.

Step 1: Elements to Build SkyParade Cable Cars

Picture of Elements to Build SkyParade Cable Cars
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To run SkyParade you need a few core elements as well as a random assortment of LEGO Technic beams, bricks, and pins to build cable cars. You can supplement these with lots of different LEGO system elements, as well as other materials like pipe cleaners, googley eyes, and whatever else you can imagine.

Core Elements

LEGO Power Functions Motors

The LEGO 'M' Motor is easiest to find, but any Power Functions motors can work. Note how all the motors have holes for Technic pins on the front face. This is the easiest and strongest way to connect the motor to a cable car.

Power functions Battery Pack

Any compatible power functions battery pack will do. The easiest and cheapest to find is the LEGO Power Functions Motor Set (8293), which contains a motor, lights, and a battery pack that takes 6 AA batteries. It's heavy but it works. The rechargeable power functions battery (8878) is lighter and has a dial that allows you to set the speed, which is nice but not absolutely necessary for Skyparade. (If you also want to do the Art Machines activity, the rechargeable battery pack is a much better choice.)

Wheel Hub 86652

A 43.2 mm grey Technic wheel hub for medium tires is the simplest drivewheel for a SkyParade cable car, especially when you put a rubber band inside it to provide more traction. This wheel naturally hangs on to the cable, but you can also build any kind of drive wheel that has a deep center and walls to either side to keep the cable car from falling off the paracord string.

Depending on how you want to customize your SkyParade activity, you can choose a variety of other elements to have on hand. Participants will be building a car that goes places - perhaps interesting places they themselves cannot go such as tunnels or over buildings, depending on how you setup the course. This makes a nice inivitation for narrative aspects of play. So consider giving the activity a theme based on anything you think your creators might like, from 'Space Gondolas from Planet Zorg' to the 'Cable Car Commute of the Future,' and selecting elements to fit that theme.

i remember that i often built lego cable cars with my brother and sister and it was always great fun! thanks for sharing
Swansong1 year ago

That's a really fun way to teach the kids some basic builds! It looks like they really enjoyed it :)