Giveaway: Crafty Kids Guide to DIY Electronics and Chibitronics Kit!

Have you checked out Helen Leigh’s amazing maker book yet?

 

If not, you are going to want to get a copy of the Crafty Kids Guide to DIY Electronics for your library (or yourself) ASAP!

About the Projects

This maker project book is broken up into four parts:

  • Paper Circuits
  • Soft Circuits (Sewing Circuits)
  • Wearables ( Which combine the knowledge of the previous two chapters to create unique wearable creations!)
  • Robots

Helen has some really fun paper circuit projects that utilize regular LEDs and Chibitronics LED stickers (which are some LED circuit stickers that I’m a tad obsessed with. Read my posts about Chibi stickers here.)

My 9 year old daughter thoroughly enjoyed making and hacking the cardboard doorbell!

 

 

I also love her ideas for introducing soft circuits, like the Circuit Sampler which will help young makers learn about short circuits, series circuits, and parallel circuits. I also personally really want to make the “Grumpy Monster with a DIY tilt sensor.”

The wearable projects are interesting and the robot projects are all doable for kids ages 8 and up! (Or younger if they are interested!)

Maker Spotlights

One of the things I think is really cool about this book is that each section ends with a maker spotlight. For these spotlights, Helen has interviewed some really cool female makers from all over the world! Like check out the maker Coco Sato and her gesture sensing origami fan! Plus, she has one of the most beautiful Instagram feeds that is sure to inspire some origami madness.

The Giveaway!

So do you want to win a free copy of this book along with a Chibitronics starter kit? Chibitronics - Chibi Lights - LED Circuit Stickers STEM Starter Kit

Here is how to enter:

  • Comment on this blog post and let my readers know what kind of makerspace you run (or hope to run!) Also, please make sure to subscribe to the comments or leave your Twitter handle in case you win! This is how I will contact you.)
  • I have to approve comments to keep out the SPAM, so be patient! 😀
  • Then share this blog post with others so they can learn about Helen Leigh’s Crafty Kids Guide to DIY Electronics!

There can only be one winner and because shipping overseas is costly, I can only ship to a US shipping location. (Sorry about that!)

Giveaway ends in one week on February 28th! So start commenting and sharing! 

 

 

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Making and Literacy Guide for Doll-E 1.0

When I started at JoyLabz in July, Doll- E 1.0 by Shanda McCloskey was still a fairly new release.

This adorable picture book, is about a tech savvy young girl named Charlotte who is given a doll by her parents and she’s unsure at first about what to do with it.

Throughout the book, we see Makey Makey references. In one scene, the dog is even playing a banana piano! (And correctly grounded!)

So I knew I needed to make a guide that coincided with this great little book. (Have I mentioned about much I love combining making and literacy? I love designing maker activities that coincide with great books. Check out this wind tunnel activity based on Rosie Revere Engineer!)

The first thing I thought of after reading this book, was how fun it would be to hand kids a box of spare parts and let them create a doll or a robot. One of my favorite easy maker projects last year was handing 2nd graders junk in paper bag to make robots. (Thank you, Angie O’Malley for the idea!)

But I wanted to kick it up a notch and have them create something they could connect to Makey Makey AND Scratch.  In the book, Charlotte attempts to increase her doll’s database, and this made me think back to a workshop I led in San Angelo this summer. During this advanced maker ed workshop I had teachers take apart toys and re-make them after exploring microcontrollers.

One thing I always focus on during a workshop is “invention literacy” or the ability to look at how things work and make new things.

So during this workshop something one of my participants said stuck with me. I showed these ladies how they could create multiple sound effects by creating variables in Scratch. This would allow them to make multiple sounds on just one button press. After showing them how it worked, one of the teachers said, “Oh! So this is how my granddaughter’s doll works?!”

It was a great a-ha moment for both of us. It helped me reaffirm that one of the best ways to learn how something works is to take it apart, and that another way to become more fluent in invention is to try and create your own version of an invention! (How do we guide kids to think, “Oh, this is how a talking doll works, now can I make my own?”)

Based on the book, I thought it would be good for students (and makers of all ages) to build their own creation and give it a voice.

So I handed my own girls a pile of junk and said, “Make something!”

They made very different creations!

If you want to see how my girls got their creations to talk or you want to make your own talking toy- The full guide for Doll-E 1.0 is now available in Labz!

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