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

Calling all at-home inventors! This is our final week of Make it! Live before we dive into summer break. Don’t miss our great selection of single session workshops, from building your own mechanical animals to setting up a digital recording studio.

Next up: Make it! Summer Camp! Beginning June 15, we’re offering half-day, virtual camps sure to make this a summer of fun and invention.

For creative activities that you can do on your own, this week’s Make it! DIY takes us to the carnival. Make your own carnival games to play with your family — and be sure to post your creations (#makeit) and tag us so we can share them with all of our KID Museum friends.

Ready. Set. Make it!

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

KID Carnival

1. 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.

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. 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.

4. Shoebox 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.

5. Funhouse Obstacle Course

Turn your backyard or hallway into a carnival-style funhouse, complete with obstacles, illusions and surprises! Build a laser maze, design your own optical illusions to confuse your visitors, design a photobooth, or create your own obstacles! String together your creations to make an interactive fun course.

Suggested Materials
Big Cardboard Box and Scissors, Colorful string and tape, Round Glass of water, Markers and colorful paper

Tips and thoughts:
– What messages could you hide in your optical illusions?
– Where will you set up your obstacles and illusions? What order will they go in?
– How can you make each challenge easier or harder?
– Do you want to create a theme for your carnival?

Resources
Optical Illusions
DIY Laser Maze
Face Hole Photo-booth
Obstacle Ideas

Click here to take this challenge to the next level.

We'd love to see what you make!

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Past Make it! Challenges