Let’s make the most of staying at home.

Welcome to Make it!

Make it! Live brings you KID Museum’s signature, hands-on programming delivered live by our Maker Educators. This week, we’re excited to launch a new range of classes and workshops — look out for 3D design, gadget-creation, and mini golf!

Make it! DIY offers a collection of fun, maker activities that you can do on your own. In honor of Earth Day, this week’s theme is Earth Week. Create a solar oven, build a tiny terrarium, upcycle an old t-shirt, and more.

Be sure to post your creations (#makeit) and tag us so we can share them with our KID Museum community.

Let’s get started!

P.S. Don’t forget to sign up for our newsletter to get Make it! delivered to your inbox every week.

Earth Week

1. Plastic Bag Weaving

Plastic is one of the top polluters of the planet because it doesn’t decompose. As a result, plastic pollutes our soil and our oceans, and affects wildlife around the globe. Turn old plastic grocery bags you have around your house into a mat or reusable bag — and keep them out of landfills! (And please remember to always bring reusable bags when going to the store!)

Suggested Materials
– Scissors
– Sheet of cardboard for loom
– Garbage bag
– Plastic bags
– Optional: String

As you’re making, consider the following questions:
– Make sure when you’re done, that you tie off all the loose ends of plastic. Don’t know how to tie a knot? Check out this tutorial here.
– Weaving is an ancient and traditional technique of cloth making, that has been done with all kinds of materials. Can you think of other wasteful materials that could be used for weaving?
– What else could you make out of old plastic bags?

Resources
Video for Younger Students
Video for Older Students
Written Instructions

Click here to take this challenge to the next level.

2. DIY Planters

Whether you are growing new plants from seeds, or repotting an old houseplant, it’s easy to repurpose throw-away items into a perfect planter! Consider using biodegradable material, such as cardboard, newspaper or egg shells if you are growing from seeds, or reuse plastic or aluminum containers for long-lasting planters. Remember to get help from a grown-up if you are cutting into a plastic container.

Suggested Materials
– Plastic bottles
– Newspaper
– Tin cans
– Egg cartons
– Toilet paper tubes
– Scissors
– Tape
– Garden Soil
– Watering can
– Seeds, or small plants

While building, consider the following challenge questions:
– If you are growing seeds, make sure they stay in a warm sunny spot, and that the soil stays moist! When they are about 3-6” tall, you can put them in the ground!
– Why are plants important for humans? How do they help support life for other animals?
Remember to put holes or rocks in the bottom of your planter, so extra moisture can drain off, and the plants don’t drown!
– What else could you use as a planter?
– Ever wondered where our vegetables come from? Check out our next level video to get ideas for growing new plants from food scraps!

Resources
Biodegradable Seed Starters
Plastic Bottle Planters
Other DIY Planters
Written & Picture Guides

Take this challenge to the next level. Plants you can grow from food scraps!

3. T-Shirt Upcycling

Did you know that every year, the U.S. produces up to 11 million tons of waste from clothing and fabric? You can reduce your impact on this waste by reusing the fabric from old clothes to make new items. Starting with some old t-shirts and a good pair of scissors, you can make a reusable tote bag, dog chew toy, or even a superhero cape!

Suggested Materials
– Old t-shirt
– Good pair of scissors
– Optional: scrap fabric, needle and thread, cardboard

While making, consider the following questions:
– What kind of items in your house are made out of fabric? Which of those could you make using t-shirts?
– Having a hard time cutting the fabric? Have someone help you stretch the fabric slightly while you cut.
– Which of our other challenges this week could be made out of old fabric?

Resources
Make a super hero cape!
No sew t-shirt bag
Make a dog toy
Written Instructions

Click here to take this challenge to the next level.

4. Solar Ovens

Solar ovens use the sun’s energy to heat and cook food inside an enclosed space. Using a cardboard box, some clear plastic, and a few other household materials, you can build a small oven that will get hot enough to melt a marshmallow for s’mores or the cheese on your pizza. Challenge yourself to try out different oven designs and make sure to test out your solar oven in a sunny spot to see how hot you can get it!

Suggested Materials
– Small/ medium cardboard, pizza or shoe box
– Pencil and paper for design sketch
– Clear plastic
– Scissors or box cutter (adult supervision required)
– Tape (duct or masking is best)
– Optional: thermometer, small dowel or stick, bubble wrap or other insulation, aluminum foil, black paper or other material

 

While building, consider the following challenge questions:
– How will the sun’s energy get into your oven? What kind of material can it get through and what kind of material does it bounce off of?
– How will you make sure the energy stays trapped inside your oven?
– What size or shape do you want to make your oven? Why?
– What can you add or change about your oven design to make it heat up more?
– Where on the outside will you place your oven for testing? Why did you place it there?

Resources
Video for Younger Students
Video for Older Students
Written Instructions

Click here to take this challenge to the next level. Think about how you will test your solar oven. How much does it heat up? How long does it take? Record your results and optimize your design!

5. Tiny Terrariums

An ecosystem is all the plants, animals, and other living things that make up a specific area or community. Create your own mini ecosystem using plants from your garden, some gravel and dirt, and a clear container.

Suggested Materials
– Clear jar or large plastic container
– Dirt
– Rocks or gravel
– Plants
– Optional: small toys or animals for decoration, scissors or box cutter (adult supervision required), scrap of thin plastic, sand.

 

While building, consider the following challenge questions:
– WWhat are the main things that plants need to survive? How can you make sure that your plant gets each of these?
– How will you make sure that the roots of your plants can drain excess moisture?
– What kind of tiny decorations can you make for your tiny world?

Resources
Open Terrarium
Closed Terrarium
Written Instructions

We'd love to see what you make!

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Past Make it! Challenges