Build your own whale themed automaton with a Grab and Go Kit from Ipswich Libraries.

Recommended ages: 10+ with parental supervision or assistance

Time to complete this project: approximately 1 hour

Collect a kit:  visit your local library branch between Monday 21st September and Friday 2 October and speak to one of the helpful staff at the Welcome Desk

The Grab and Go Kit  will provide you with the materials and instructions you need to construct a simple mechanical device from cardboard, paper and glue.

Additional items you’ll need at home : 

  • a pencil
  • a ruler
  • glue stick
  • good scissors that can cut cardboard
  • a hot glue gun and plenty of hot glue sticks (please use this with parental supervision or assistance)
  • coloured pens, pencils or water colours

Once you have your kit watch the video tutorial below where we guide you step by step through the construction process. Stop and start as you need and pick up extra tips and tricks to complete your automaton. Please note the directions to attach the axle varies from those in the written instructions – choose whichever way works best for you.

Need a bit of extra help? register for a live Zoom workshop HERE – please make sure you have collected a kit and prepared all cardboard components before the workshop.

Can’t make it to the Library or kits have run out: you can still make this at home. Download the instructions and templates and gather the following materials:

  • corrugated cardboard
  • an A4 piece of plain white card and paper 
  • 2 skewers
  • a paper straw

Download the Whale Automaton Instructions

Download the Whale Automaton Templates

Love whales? Test your knowledge of whales and other aquatic animals in our Wet and Wild Quiz!


Search the Ipswich Libraries website or online catalogue