If you enjoy this project, then I encourage you to buy my book, Rubber Band Engineer. It's full of more awesome and original projects crafted from household hardware. You can find it wherever books are sold.
In this Instructable, I'll to show you how to build many projects that use a simple hydraulic system that kids in elementary school can build. Each step will show you one of four machines that use the same basic mechanism.
These are the essential materials, but you could of course add to this list.
Craft sticks, craft cubes, cubes with holes, skewers (less than 1/8" diameter), 10ml luer slip plastic syringes, 1/8" vinyl tubing, cable ties, tape, and hot glue.
First thing's first: How to make a hydraulic system