It’s spring here in the Midwest, but it’s hard to believe since it snowed today and I’m still wearing a winter coat and hat! Despite the winter weather, this month’s MakerSpace activities have spring fever. Hopefully they will bring spring weather, too. Enjoy my ideas for this month and be sure to check out my ideas from April 2017 as those are different activities for your MakerSpace.
Egg Balancing Challenge: This fun challenge comes from Frugal Fun for Girls and Boys. It’s a great blog with many great STEM and STEAM ideas. For this challenge, there was a little prep work, but nothing that took 5 minutes at the most. Simply take an old box, tape it closed, cut slits and place straws into those slits. I use an old Amazon box and created 8 different straw holes. The students are then challenged to balance as many plastic egg halves on the end of the straw as possible. Great discussions on balance, equilibrium and strategies are sure to happen! Click here to download the sign to go with the activity.
Pipe Cleaner and Easter Egg Bunnies: This is a super easy, super cute, super fun craft that also uses plastic Easter Eggs. For the eggs, I simply reached out to my students and staff and asked for donations after Easter. Three big bins later and I was ready to go!
The idea comes from a cute blog called Handmade by Kelly. She’s a mom who does so many creative crafts with her 8 year old son. I love knowing that she’s tried this ideas with her own child because I can be confident it’s something most of my students can do. On her blog she posts pictures and directions. I used it as a guide to create my own instruction sheet (download here). She uses hard boiled eggs and since that wouldn’t be the best idea for school, I adapted it to plastic eggs. I showed my students samples of them this week to the tune of many oohs and aaahs. I also showed them how they could move the pipe cleaner ears off to the side and it “unlocks” the egg where they could keep a “treasure.” I can’t wait for them to start creating and see if any other ideas flow from this inspiration.
Debbie Oh’s Broken Crayon Challenge: Author/Illustrator/Creative Genius, Debbie Oh (think Sam and Eva, think I’m Bored), has this amazing activity she does called the Broken Crayon Challenge. Check it on on her website and her awesome Padlet. The idea behind it is what would come out of a crayon if it was broken in half? The possibilities are endless! I have had so much fun already telling the kids about it, showing them the pictures and talking about ideas. One girl was so excited she asked if she had to wait to go to the Creation Station or could she just do it at home?!
I plan to share some of my student creations so be sure to check back next month for some ideas.
Merge Cube Virtual Reality: I like to add technology to my MakerSpace when I can as I think it’s a great way for students to explore different creative venues and also shows where creative thinking can lead. After all, someone had to have the idea before the technology could be made. This month, I am introducing the Merge Cube to my students. Click here to download a sign to go with the Merge Cube.
The Merge Cube is a small cube that when you combine it with free Merge Cube apps, uses virtual reality to bring the solar system, human body, worlds and more to life. I have the solar system, My Body and Tiltball (like a marble maze) apps for my students. You can find the Merge Cube online at Amazon and Walmart. They are typically about $6 – 7. Be sure to double check if your device will work with the cube as some older iPads will not. You can see a list of compatible devices here.
I hope these ideas help you get making this month no matter if your weather is warm or cold, sunny or rainy! Happy Making!