Let’s make the most of staying at home.

Welcome to Make it!

Build your own board game, or your own virtual escape room; code your own video games, or create upcycled miniatures… there’s so much to choose from at Make it! Live, our maker educator-led, interactive classes and workshops. We hope to see you there!

For maker activities you can do on your own, this week’s Make it! DIY theme is KID City. Build cars, bridges, towers, and boats using household materials and innovative techniques.

And don’t miss out on Make it! Summer Camp. We just launched 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!

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

KID City

1. Futuristic Vehicles

Cars and other vehicles are an important part of how our modern day cities function. Use materials found around the house and your imagination to design and build your own vehicle with spinning wheels. You might even imagine what a car or vehicle might look like in the future.

Suggested Materials
Cardboard, plastic bottle or other container to use as body of the car, pencils, wooden skewers or wire to use as axles, bottle caps, CDs or something round to use for wheels, straws, liquid glue, tape, a lot of imagination!

 

Tips and Thoughts:
– How will you make the wheels of your car spin?
– How might a vehicle look the same or different in the future? How can you represent that style of vehicle?
– What other type of vehicle could you design? What are the uses of other vehicles in a town or city?

Resources
Video for Younger Students
Video for Older Students
Written Instructions

Click here to take this challenge to the next level.

2. Boat Design

Despite being made of heavy materials such as metal and wood, boats are able to float and move easily across the surface of water. How do boats stay afloat? Challenge yourself to build a boat that can hold weight and move from place to place using wind power.

Suggested Materials
Aluminum foil, straws, paper products, scissors, tape, pennies or other small items to use as weights. Optional materials include: sponges, wax paper, toothpicks and whatever else you want to build with!

Tips and thoughts:
– How much weight can you hold in a boat made simply out of aluminum foil and tape? Can you hold more weight using different shape boats?
– What kind of materials make your boat float better? Why?
– Many boats move using wind as a motor. What size or shape sail will make your boat move the fastest?
– How else could you propel your boat?

Resources
Written Instructions
Tinfoil Boat Challenge
Sailboat Challenge
Sailboat Challenge Video

Click here to take this challenge to the next level.

Rubber band powered rovers

3. Bridge Building

Much of the world’s transportation relies on bridges. How can a strong bridge be made out of simple materials? Test your civil engineering skills by building and testing different paper bridge designs.

Suggested Materials
Paper, pennies or other coins for weights, two thick heavy books, ruler, tape.

Tips and thoughts:
– How much weight can one piece of paper hold? What about two? Three?
– How do different shapes affect how much weight a bridge can hold?
– How do different materials affect your bridge?

Resources
Video for Younger Students
Video for Older Students
Written Instructions

Click here to take this challenge to the next level.

4. Innovative Tower Challenge

Cities are designed by architects and engineers who are constantly innovating with shapes and materials. Some structures are designed to be very tall or interesting to look at, while others are designed to be strong or withstand natural disasters. Build a tower of your own using household items. Start by experimenting with different materials and shapes, and then start designing! Will your tower be the tallest? The strongest? The most interesting shape? When you are the architect, you decide!

Suggested Materials
Cardboard, paper, tape, pencil, scissors. Optional: Spaghetti, string, Other household items

 

Tips and thoughts:
– What will your tower be for? How does that affect what shape it will take?
– Which shapes are strongest? How can you use them in your tower design?
– What’s different about building with different materials?
– Watch closely as you test your tower. Is it always falling or collapsing in the same area? How can you reinforce weak points in your design?

Resources
Video for Younger Students
Video for Older Students
Written Instructions

Click here to take this challenge to the next level.

5. Reinvent Your Neighborhood

What kinds of buildings and structures can you find in your neighborhood? Are their parks? Stores? Traffic lights? The design and layout of a neighborhood, town, or city are all designed by planners, architects, and engineers. What do you like about your neighborhood and what would you change? Design and create a model of your neighborhood using household items or recyclables, and or build the town of your dreams.

Suggested Materials
Cardboard boxes, paper, scissors, tape, recyclables, markers or pencils or crayons, other household items as needed

 

Tips and thoughts:
– How is your neighborhood laid out? Are their houses, apartment building or green spaces? What would you like to see stay the same or change about your neighborhood?
– How might your town change if everyone had to walk or ride bikes? What would its layout look like?
– What other important building or structures can you find in your neighborhood or town? Why are they important and where should they be built?

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!

SUBMIT VIA EMAIL

Past Make it! Challenges