A father helped his five-year-old daughter make a
house for her dolls at the Cardboard Construction
station. As he used child-safe plastic nails to put the
roof in place, his daughter ran off to get a snack.
“Nowadays, kids don’t go outside because technology
has taken over such a large part of their lives,” he said.
“These activities make them use their hands, and get
the whole family involved. It’s inevitable, the kids ask,
‘help me with this’ and we as parents jump in. Making
things reminds them that they don’t have to be staring
at a TV or computer screen 24/7,” he said. “Hinges and
connectors are relatively inexpensive, they’re
something we could afford to have in the house,” he
added, referring to MakeDo, simple plastic tools that
were used to connect the pieces of cardboard. At the other end of the cardboard station, two students
had constructed an elephant and worked together to make a cardboard dog. “The elephant’s face hangs
down when we’re not around, because he’s sad,” one of them explained.
Two types of dough, conductive and non-conductive, were used to make Squishy Circuits. Similar to the
other simple circuits that makers use, this dough can be connected to batteries and light-emitting diodes
(LEDs) or small buzzers for electronics exploration. Elsewhere the children made Snap Circuits, simple
development boards connected with sensors, buttons and LEDs on a single piece of plastic to test
inventions. The room was filled with happy chatter as children and their parents experienced making
something tangible, a new device or object that was the product of their intellectual curiosity and motor
skills in equal parts.
Sisters engineering fun with their father
& Squishy Circuits