Stuck at home? Let’s make the most of it!

Welcome to this week’s edition of Make It! Each week, we’ll make the most of being stuck at home with cool maker activities you can do from home. This week’s theme is one of my favorites — KID Arcade.

Using materials that you have around the house, you’ll build pinball games, bowling alleys, mini golf and more — the opportunities are endless. And we’ve adapted these activities for a variety of ages.

When you’re done, post your creations on social media, tag KID Museum (and use #KIDmakes), and we’ll be sure to share them.

For those of you looking for an even greater challenge, and live interaction with me and the other Maker Educators, check out our brand new — and super fun — Make It! Plus.

Now let’s get started making our KID Arcade!

– Ram, Senior Maker Educator

P.S. Be sure to subscribe to our mailing list to get Make it! in your inbox every week.

KID Arcade

1. Pinball

Using a cardboard box, some paper, a few around-the-house items, and a little bit of engineering, you can create your own pinball machine. 

Suggested Materials
– Cardboard or heavy cardstock, Paper, Skewers, Hot glue or tape, scissors.

Challenge your pinball design skills by testing the following:
– What household object can you use as obstacles? Can you get your ball to go over a ramp?  What about through a loop?
– Can you build a better launcher for your pinball?
– How else could you make flippers for the pinball?

Resources
Video for Younger Students
Video for Older Students
Written & Picture Guides

Click here to take this challenge to the next level.

2. Marble Mazes

Use your maze design and cardboard engineering skills to create a maze for a marble.  Ramp up your maze by adding obstacles for the marble to avoid or extra zones for players to collect points.

Suggested Materials
– Cardboard box, extra cardboard or thick paper, scissors, tape or hot glue, small marble or small ball, markers.

Challenge your arcade design skills by testing the following:
– How can you create obstacles or holes for the marble to avoid?
– What do you need to think about when designing the walls of your maze?  Is there just one start and end point? Are the paths too wide or too narrow?
– How many different paths can you marble follow to get from start to finish?
– How would it change the game if you added more marbles?

Resources
Video for Younger Students
Video for Older Students
Written & Picture Guides

Click here to take this challenge to the next level.

3. Ring Toss

Using household recyclable items, students can design and build their own version of a ring toss game. While a more traditional version can be made with paper plates and toilet paper tubes, we challenge you to get creative with other objects as pegs and rings.

Suggested Materials
– Paper towel rolls, paper plates, scissors, markers, tape. Optional: Empty bottles or dowels, rope, other round recyclables

Challenge your arcade design skills by testing the following:
– How many different types and sizes of rings can you make? Do they all toss the same?
-What kind of materials would make good pegs for your rings?
-Experiment with different heights and sizes of rings and pegs to create an easier or more challenging version of your game. Consider putting different point values on each peg!

Resources
Video for Younger Students
Video for Older Students
Written Instructions

Click here to take this challenge to the next level.

4. DIY Bowling

This DIY bowling challenge can be scaled up or down for a ton of at-home fun. Using plastic bottles (filled with a bit of sand or water) and a tennis ball, or using old batteries and a marble, create your own version of the arcade classic. Aim for a strike!

Suggested Materials
– 10 empty plastic bottles, tennis, whiffle or soccer ball, sand or water. Optional: Paint for decorating the bottles, cardboard to create walls and/or gutters. For a mini challenge, you can use old batteries and a marble, with colored tape and paper to decorate.

Challenge your arcade design skills by testing the following:
– How does adding weight to the pin change how they fall?
– How could you create a gutter for when the ball misses the pins?
– Test out different weights or size of “bowling” balls to see which is more effective.

Resources
Bowling with Bottles
Mini Bowling
Written Instructions

Click here to take this challenge to the next level.

5. Household Mini Golf

Turn your house into a mini golf course! Create your own ramps, obstacles and holes out of cardboard and other recycled materials. Or, create a mini-table top version that you can play with a marble or other small ball. Use your imagination and making skills to build ramps or loops for the ball to go through, or build pinwheel and other obstacles to maximize the challenge.

Suggested Materials
– Any ball, preferably one either the size of a tennis ball or smaller, household items to use as obstacles and holes. Something to use as a golf club, or try making your own out of newspaper!

Challenge your arcade design skills by testing the following:
– What household items can you use as holes?
– Don’t have a golf club? Challenge yourself to build one out of household items? Check out how this kid made a club out of newspaper and cardboard.
– Experiment with ways to build walls for the ball to bounce off of or obstacles for the ball to overcome.

Resources
Video for Younger Students
Video for Older Students
Written Instructions

Click here to take this challenge to the next level.

We'd love to see what you make!

Facebook | Instagram | Twitter

#KIDmakes

SUBMIT VIA EMAIL

Past Make it! Challenges