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 a collection of cool maker activities with different themes. This week, we’re taking it Outside. (Not too far, of course.)

From bug hotels to wind chimes, we’ve got you covered for creative projects that incorporate the wonders of outdoors.

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 with KID Outdoors!

– Julie, Maker Educator

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

KID Outdoors

1. Seed Bombs

A seed bomb is a seed that has been pre-planted into a ball of either compost or recycled paper, making it easier for the seed to grow when planted in the ground. It is a great way to bring a little bit of plant life to an unloved area, or to give as gifts for other people to plant.

Suggested Materials
– Old newspaper or other recycled paper
– Wildflower or other seeds
– Blender
– Bucket
– Optional: Compost, clay soil, drying rack
– Water

As you’re making, consider the following questions:
– Why do you think putting the seeds into a premade ball helps them grow? Hint: Think about what might happen if seeds are just thrown on top of the soil by themselves?
– Why are plants and flowers important for our environment?
– Where in your neighborhood/garden/community do you want to place your seed bombs?

Resources
Recycled Paper Seed Bombs
Compost & Clay Seed Bombs
Written Instructions

Click here to take this challenge to the next level.

2. Bug Hotel

Bug hotels are a great way to increase the biodiversity in your yard or garden. Insects and other pollinators are important for the health of our natural ecosystem. Create a small “hotel” out of recycled materials or naturally found objects that will attract bugs like ladybugs, bees, and butterflies to your garden.

Suggested Materials
– Container, such as tin can, milk carton or old flower pot
– Round paper tubes
– Paper
– Pine cones, twigs, dried leaves, bark or even small rocks
– Optional: Tape, String, blue paint (bees like blue), drill

While building, consider the following challenge questions:
– What kind of spaces are inviting to an insect? Why?
– How can you create those spaces with your materials?
– Why are some insects and pollinators important for our environment?
– Where in the garden do you want to attract bugs and bees?

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

Click here to take this challenge to the next level.

3. Bird Feeder

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

While building, consider the following challenge questions:
– 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.

4. 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

While building, consider the following challenge questions:
– 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.

5. Wind Chimes

Using small household items and a bit of engineering, you can create a unique wind chime that makes music as it blows in the breeze. Use different materials to experiment with the different sounds they make when hit together. How does wood sound against sea shells? What about old keys against a tin can? String your chosen items to a simple base (such as a coat hanger or stick) in order to create a one-of-a-kind garden instrument.

Suggested Materials
– Any small hard objects : Old keys, tin cans, bottle caps, shells or pencils
– String
– Scissors
– Something to use as a base of the wind chime such as a plastic lid, coat hanger, or stick
– Optional: Something to poke holes through plastic with like a thumb tack

While building, consider the following challenge questions:
– How do different materials sound when they clink together? Which sounds do you like the best?
– What can you use to hold all your chimes? How will it attach to your porch or a tree?
– How far apart should your chimes be in order for your wind chime to make noise?

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!

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