Let’s make the most of staying at home.

Welcome to Make it!

Can you engineer a way to keep a popsicle cold on a warm day? Can you make your own fidget toy? How about building your own miniature arcade, complete with mini cornhole, catapult game, and bowling alley? You can do all this and more with our amazing, educator-led Make it! Live programs.

Let’s get outside with this week’s Make it! DIY. We’ve got a great collection of fun, summertime activities that you can do on your own, like making a water balloon launcher, upcycled bird feeder, and mini golf course.

And speaking of summer, don’t miss out on Make it! Summer Camp for a great mix of indoor and outdoor making. Take a look at our line-up of half-day, virtual camps that are sure to make this a summer of fun and invention.

Post your creations (#makeit) and tag us so we can share them with our KID Museum friends.

Ready. Set. Make it!

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KID Outdoors

1. Bubble Science

There are two steps to achieving the perfect bubble. First, you’ll need to mix the right soap solution. Test out different ratios and types of soap from around the house. Second, create your own bubble wand. Compare different shapes of wands with the bubbles they create for an afternoon of endless entertainment.

Suggested Materials
– Two sticks
– String
– Liquid Soap and Water
– A bucket
– Scissors
– Optional: Straws,Wire, pipe cleaners, detergent, cornstarch, glycerin

 

Tips and Thoughts:
– What makes a good bubble?
– Do different mixtures of soap and water work better? Why?
– What kind of bubbles does each different wand make?
– How can you change or improve your bubble mixture and wand design?

Resources
Video for Younger Students
Video for Older Students
Written Instructions

Click here to take this challenge to the next level.

2. DIY Sun Prints

Create your very own cyanotypes using the power of the sun. A cyanotype is an old-fashioned way of making copies of something, using light sensitive paper. This is where the word “blueprint” comes from, because cyanotypes were originally blue! Using construction paper on a sunny day, you can create one-of-a-kind prints of different shapes and objects.

Suggested Materials
– Constructions paper (dark colors work best)
– Clear plastic sheeting to hold flat shapes in place.
– Tape
– A bright summer day!
– Leaves, toys or other objects with interesting shapes
– Optional: heavy books for pressing flowers or leaves before printing.

Tips and thoughts:
– What objects will make the coolest shapes on our sunprint? Remember, the sun print will only show the outline of the shape, and not all the details
– Want to use botanicals for your print? To get the best results, press leaves and flowers between two books to get them nice and flat before printing.
– Can you combine shapes to create a sun print scene or optical illusion?

Resources
Video for Younger Students
Video for Older Students
Written Instructions

Click here to take this challenge to the next level.

3. Backyard Mini Golf

Turn your backyard into a mini golf course! Create your own ramps, obstacles and holes out of cardboard and other recycled materials. You can even design your own “golf” club! Use your imagination and maker skills to build ramps or loops for the ball to go through, or build pinwheels 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!

Tips and thoughts:
– What household items can you use as holes?
– What other obstacles might you see on a mini golf course? Tunnels, windmills or jumps?
– 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
– To up the challenge, experiment with ways to build walls for the ball to bounce off of or obstacles for the ball to overcome.
– Even if you build it inside, don’t forget to set up your course outside for some summer fun.

Resources
Video for Younger Students
Video for Older Students
Written Instructions

Check out how these awesome elementary school makers constructed a huge mini golf course in their auditorium. Way to go makers!.

4. Upcycled Bird Feeders

Design and build your own backyard bird feeder using simple household materials. Use anything from a toilet paper tube to a plastic bottle — the possibilities are endless. A good bird feeder needs three components: a place for the birds to land, a place to hold the seed, and a way for the birds to reach the seed. They should also be hangable from a nearby tree or bush.

Suggested Materials
– Milk Carton, plastic bottle, paper tube or egg carton
– Peanut butter or honey
– Beed feed
– String
– Scissors
– Optional: pencils, dowels or a long wooden spoon

 

Tips and thoughts:
– How will the birds reach the bird seed? Make sure your holes are big enough for birds to reach, but small enough that the bird seed won’t fall through?
– How many different ways could you make a bird feeder? Which design is best? why?
– How can you improve on, change or add to your bird feeder design?

Resources
Video for Younger Students
Video for Older Students
Written Instructions

Click here to take this challenge to the next level.

5. Water Balloon Launcher

Summer is here, and we are putting a maker spin on our favorite summer day pastime: water balloon fights! Instead of just throwing water balloons, design a launcher and see how far you can toss your water balloons! Use household items and a bit of engineering to create a device that will launch your water ball across the room (I mean yard!)

Suggested Materials
– Rubberbands
– Duct Tape
– Cardboard tubes
– Pencils
– Plastic spoon

 

Tips and thoughts:
– What style of launcher do you think will work best and why?
– How does the angle of launch affect the direction the water balloon flies?
– Try testing out your launcher with other objects? Do different size or weight of objects work differently?

Resources
Here’s a mini version with a cotton ball for inspiration
You could even make a catapult
10 different models you could try!

Click here to take this challenge to the next level.

We'd love to see what you make!

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