Kids and adults alike are endlessly fascinated by robots. Just like kids, robots come in all different shapes, sizes, and colors, so there’s a lot of room for creativity.
The best part about robots is that they’re perfectly suited to a mishmash of recycled junk you have around the house. That means you don’t have to buy anything for these activities—you and your kid can just make it up as you go along. We’ve provided some ideas below for how to make a robot and how to make it a quality learning activity!
How do I make a robot?
If you need a little help with what to use for materials, here are a few ideas:
1) Cardboard boxes!
Practically any box is appropriate for robot-making—Kleenex boxes, shoe boxes, and shipping boxes are all good choices for a blank robot slate. Set out a range of different craft supplies and let your kid’s imagination run free!
2) Tin cans!
Magnetic robots made out of tin cans are great to play with again and again. All you need to do is start with a clean tin can as a base and glue magnetic strips to small objects like nuts, bolts, washers, or even stickers and googly eyes. Let your kid arrange the magnets on the can and see what kind of robot they make! (You could also help your child move things around using the magnets to make different kinds of robots.)
3) Plastic bottles!
Shiny robots are the best, so cover an empty plastic container with a little aluminum foil and decorate it with whatever you have lying around, like pipe cleaners, bottle caps, markers, or glitter (for a little more shine).
4) Paper grocery bags!
Rectangular paper grocery bags are the perfect base if your kid wants to dress up as a robot. Paint the bag your favorite color, decorate it with some recycled materials, cut a few holes in it for head and arms, and voilà!
If you want a delicious robot-themed treat, all you need is some jumbo and mini marshmallows for the body, pretzel sticks for arms, frosting for glue, and assorted candies for decoration.
What do I do with the robot?
There are plenty of opportunities for quality interactions with your child when making a robot. Here are some fun ways to make this an engaging activity:
1) Give the robot a name and make up a story about their robot’s adventures. You could also help them write it down and illustrate it for extra fun.
2) Move your body like a robot. Put some music on and make up your own robot dance.
3) Draw a picture of your robot and label all its important parts.
4) Create a robot family and talk about the special things each of your robots can do.
Above all, have fun!