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! 

 

 

Handmade Stamps and Eric Carle’s Mixed Up Chameleon – Making and Literacy

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Feeling Mixed-Up

As an elementary librarian, I’m always looking for ways that books can inspire making.  I love the artwork of Eric Carle and I thought it would be really fun to have students invent their own animal based on the book, The Mixed-Up Chameleon.  My initial idea was to make an animal in the same way that Eric Carle makes his art, by painting paper and then cutting out animal shapes, and collaging them together. However, without a table top cutter, I knew this would be a lot of prep on my part.

Making and Picture Books

Then I met Nora Peters during SXSWedu. We had coffee and talked about all of our favorite picture books and how each unique book could hold a spark for creativity.  When Nora was at the Millvalle Community Library, she created projects for picture books and included instructions inside the front cover of library books. (Read more about this here!)

As we were talking about our favorite activities and books, I told her about my dilemma with wanting to invent animals with cut out shapes, and Nora said, “Why don’t you just make stamps?”

So over spring break, I debated buying a table top cutter so I could mass produce stamps, but finally settled down and created these stamps by hand.

My 8 YO gave me the idea to draw the animal and then subsequent animal parts on one piece of paper.

Then I just drew my design with a fine tip sharpie on a foam sheet, cut with scissors, and engraved designs with a ballpoint pen.

Aaron taught me how to use a table saw to cut my wood blocks, then I was stuck trying to figure out the best way to adhere the foam sheet to each block. Hot glue would be lumpy…..but what if I just used double sided sticky tape?  Would it hold up?

After a week of being used with kindergarten, first, and second, I’m happy to tell you that my stamps survived!

If you decide to make your own stamps, make sure you line up the front and back so you can trace the design on top and then your elemakers will be able to line up their unique animal parts to invent their new animal species.

I love my homemade stamps so much! And now I want to own a Silhouette Cameo cutter or Cricut Maker so I can mass produce more stamps, or try my original idea and have students paint paper and draw shapes. Then I can cut their animal shapes with one of these rad plotter machines.

During my lesson this week, Lucie Delabruere came to visit and has a great snapshot of the entire lesson! She caught me in my “natural habitat” so to speak! Read her snapshot of being in my library and her other “March is for Making” posts here.  Ironically, I told Lucie I wasn’t focusing on making this week, but rather on literacy and research…. it’s funny how it all really does tie together into a seamless learning experience.

My favorite part of this activity was that after inventing an animal, students researched animal habitats and had to decide where their mixed-up animal would live. I’d love to go further with this lesson and have them write explanations of why they chose that habitat for their new animal species.

Check Out All the Student Work!