You are currently browsing the monthly archive for August 2008.
Jek’s summer fan tent was so awesome that we had to make one right away.
Lots of fun to be had.
The pictures are blurry ’cause the fan needed constant watch because of Jayden’s excitement. See the toe anchoring it? Jaylene has plans for another, even better version to be created during Jayden’s nap.
Share the one you make!
This is the big robot project we’ve been working on for the last week or so. Recycled Robots (in a box!)
I’d been thinking of making a DIY robot kit for awhile. My original idea, and it might still come to be, was to use hardware elements, like nuts and bolts, that would fit together to make a robot. However, the logistics of that still eludes me, so plan B was to use recycled objects. Unfortunately, the part that kept us from actually doing so was that I didn’t want to store or display big bulky robots. That’s how Robot Accessories came to be:
We gathered a bunch of robot looking recyclables, spiffed them up and then grabbed some bottles to turn into robots. Any containers would work, these drink bottles were what we had on hand. Then after the fun was over, the accessories were returned to their storage box and the bottles headed back to the recycle bin.
Items we included:
small lids (to create heads)
strips of decorative plastic bags (they tie around to spruce up the robot body)
colored twist ties (to attach arms and other limbs)
craft foam (to make arms, necklaces… whatever)
We also had my collection of colored sharpies and these super fun wax oil-stick crayons. They can write on any surface: plastic, glass, metal.
I think that’s the last of the robot crafts for awhile. Unless we find a way to make a robot that actually does something or moves. But that’s probably beyond me. Do you have any fun robot activities?
We are in complete robot mania around these parts. Today we met up with some friends and headed up the hill to the world’s first Robot Museum.
It’s a joint venture between the faculty and students at the Technology and Science Institute of Northern Taiwan, just up the road from the Taiwan National Arts University.
We had called ahead (：(02) 2894-3356 ext.168)and an English speaking guide, Dr. Huang, was available to show us all four exhibit rooms. He was very knowledgeable and had a great sense of humor. We weren’t able to compose our own 6-speed lego robots as the materials were in Hsin Chu for a camp, but they should be there the next time we go. And we will go again, it was a lot of fun. And with an admission price of $30NT each, you can’t beat the value.
Where else can you safely egg on a dinosaur that senses where you are and steadily moves toward you?
Here’s an interesting article about the museum. It’s only open 7 days a week during the summer, but only on weekdays during school terms. It’s not a place that Jayden or other younger kids would find terribly interesting. The robot toy center was fun, but even our older kids were pretty tired after a couple of hours.
Awesome star burst paper by the talented Heather T.
The latest Kid’s craft newsletter was all about Printing. In one of the activities, she suggested using various shaped boxes to stamp with. We didn’t have a collection of fun shapes so we made our own by cutting a cereal box into strips and then forming them into different shapes.
Then you dip them in paint and stamp away.
Of course, Jaylene made a robot themed painting. We re-used one of her daycare paintings. It justifies that I never threw them away, and she thinks the background looks cool.
Do you know offhand how to say “robot” in any other languages?
This week’s unplug your kids’ challenge was “Cylinder”.
The kids’ school has a lovely wooden set of cylinders that you shake and match up. I saw those, and saw how much fun they both were having with them and decided we could make a set at home with those mini m&m containers.
* An equal amount of mini m&m tubes in two different colors (I didn’t realize that they have little characters embossed on the tops and just happened to grab one of each, but if you really want your tubes to match, you’ll have to keep an eye out for that)
* Various little things to put inside to make rattling sounds
* Hot glue to glue it shut if you’re letting little ones use them
Remove the m&m covers and any remaining glue residue
Gather a bunch of materials to put inside. You’ll need to have enough to put inside two tubes, one of each color. We had fun looking for items that were made from different materials such as: wood, plastic, metal, organic and so on.
Fill the tubes with equal amounts of the shaking goodies and then test the sound. You’ll probably want to have a nice variety of sounds, but if you want to make things difficult than you could have slightly different sounds too. Surprisingly we discovered that mini jingle bells didn’t sound nice when enclosed in the plastic, and the quacking sound maker from a toy didn’t work as it needed air flow to make a nice sound. So make sure you test your sounds before you move on to the next step.
An adult glues the lids shut with a hot glue gun.
Well, we ended up traveling into Taipei to attend the Taipei International Robot Show (TIROS). After going all that way, we were more than a little disappointed to discover that only 12 or older could enter the floor. However they had a small kids section on the second floor and we were able to make some friends there.
Jaylene tried to feed her brother to a dinosaur.
And they got to play with a lot of cool robot toys, including Jaylene’s absolute all time favorite robot… WALL-E
So, who’s your favorite robot? I’m kinda partial to R2D2, myself.