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May 9, 2012

Tinkering Around - Making Robots

 My mom took the big boys out of the house for a few hours yesterday.  When they came home the dining room table looked like this:

You can imagine their delight!

I saw THIS post from The Chocolate Muffin Tree many months ago and pinned it for just the right time. This week for school I am doing a Robot theme with the boys, so I knew it was time to pull out the cans I had been saving.  (Can you believe we only had FOUR cans???  Apparently we don't eat canned food often.)  Anyway...

Instead of using magnets like the original idea, we permanently attached everything to our cans.  I love the idea of using magnets and opening up the realm of creative possibilities, so I think we will do it that way another day.

When working on a craft or project I don't tell the boys how to do each step.  If they ask for help with specific steps or ideas, of course I'll lend a hand, but I want their projects to be their own vision, not mine.  Sometimes when I see them getting stuck on a step I quietly work on my own instead of making suggestions.  That way if they choose to mimic my idea they have  a starting point, but if they have their own idea they are free to go in a different direction. I secured the arms by wrapping a pipe cleaner around the body of each robot then wrapping half of another pipe cleaner on each side then twisting to seal.

We used spray adhesive for the glitter to get it all over the pool noodle heads.  Please be aware that spray adhesive is very messy.  Use a work surface you don't mind getting dirty, because it leaves a sticky residue.  Be sure to work in outside or in a well ventilated space.  I don't typically choose spray adhesive, but I wanted something fast drying to avoid waiting around for glue to dry before moving on to the next step.

The wonderful thing about using pool noodle pieces is that pipe cleaners can be stuck in any which way to create funky robot heads.  This is great for fine motor skills in addition to being creative.  We used hot glue to attach the pom pom eyes, the baby food jar legs and the pool noodle to the can.

JM loved having so many options to use on his robot!

As always, JZ's favorite part was gluing, both with school glue and the hot glue gun.

It's not very robotic, but on a whim I grabbed some foam stickers while setting up the invitation.  I didn't want JM to need help with every step, and I knew he would enjoy adding his own flair all by himself.

Indeed it was a good plan.  He insisted every robot needed stickers all over and was pleased to do them.

We haven't done a craft with a specific end product in mind in ages.  Typically we do art, not crafts, because I prefer open ended creativity.  I'm glad I went out on a limb and set this one up.  Our dining room table was a disaster, and it was worth every second I spent cleaning.

JM played with his robots the rest of the afternoon and evening, and JZ proudly showed Mike first thing when he arrived home.

JZ was especially fond of making the robots talk to each other, using nonsense jargon in a deep, slow voice.

I have a special place in my heart for using recycled household items for art projects, and I was pleased to grab many items out of our recycled stash.

Recycled items:
aluminum cans
baby food jar lids
water bottle lids
applesauce pouch lids

Craft supplies:
glue (spray, school, and hot)

And of course, pool noodles.  I was inspired by THIS post from Time for Play to use some pieces from our pool noodles.  I went on a pool noodle shopping spree recently at Dollar Tree, so stay tuned for many exciting pool noodle ideas.

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1 comment:

  1. Well this is an awesome idea .I made this super cool robot with my kids, they really enjoyed.


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