I know what you’re thinking… bring on the Leprechaun traps for March MakerSpace, but while I wanted to focus on building this month, I decided to go a little less obvious.
Craft Sticks, Clothespins and Binder Clip Fun: This activity was inspired from a fun blog called Frugal Fun for Boys and Girls under 5 Engineering Challenges. It’s the simple concept of taking a few things and using them to create something new. The Frugal Fun for Boys and Girls site had 5 specific structures for kids to build, and while I did suggest that to my students, I also encouraged them to build whatever their minds could imagine or hands to create. On the very first day I had a 2nd grader create the most amazing airplane. It was so fun.
Here are the prompts I put out for the kiddos (prompt sheet):
- Build a structure that can support a lot of weight.
- Use books to see how strong your structures is.
- Build the tallest structure you can.
- Build the tallest structure with the fewest clothespins.
- Build a structure that has only triangles in its design.
- What else can you imagine? Go for it!
Stack the Cat’s Hat: The librarian in me could not forget that March is Dr. Seuss’ birthday and who doesn’t love The Cat in the Hat? So, I found inspiration from a blog called Little Bins for Little Hands’ Dr. Seuss STEM Challenge. Keeping with my desire to have kids building and constructing, the challenge is to build the tallest hat you can for the Cat in the Hat using only cups and paper. Feel free to use this instruction sheet to help.
- Thoughts: It is very important to have a “base” or brim for the hat. I found that without the paper that limited the space in which to build the hat, it was too easy for the students to build. A smaller surface area in which to build created more opportunity for creative thinking and problem solving.
- Thoughts: To make the activity even more challenge, give the students a set amount of cups in which they have to build or take away the sheets of paper.