Just call him the gadget man. If there is one thing Ken has always loved, it’s figuring something out. He’s not a guy who gets under the hood of a car or hides out in the garage building things. But, he digs figuring the science of things out – especially when it looks a little sci-fi.
All it took was one visit to Science World this weekend to realize that the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. Four hours after arrival, our daughter was still in full gear trying to figure the science of everything out – especially if it had to do with physics.
So, when they spent the afternoon digging through the recycling and creating the Marble Mech physics lab I could see the gears turning in her head.
This one is a fairly easy project for kids of all ages that can get everyone into the action. The coolest part is it is totally about using your noggen as the kids will have to keep arranging things and trying different levers, buckets and set-ups out to see which ones work the best with the marble.
Ken loved it too because the whole project cost a whopping $6 (for velcro tape) and everything else came right out of the recycle bin.
So, check it out and start engineering your Marble Mech Craftizmo.
- Hit the recycle bin for supplies
Here’s what you need:
B) Benino Gelato take-out container
C) Juice / fruit cups
D) Pens (for planning / marking on tubes)
E) Duct Tape (of course… like a security blanket)
G) Paper rolls (all sizes, whatever you have)
H) Pop cap lids / old scotch tape roles (keep the role on the “mount” as it gives you your rotation device)
I) Old tape roles
J) Velcro tape
K) NOT PICTURED (Plastic pop / juice bottles – all sizes, Egg Carton)
L) NOT PICTURED – Ummm… MARBLES!!!!
M) NOT PICTURED (anything else you want to try and use)
Grab your Kids magnets (We used old ones that weren’t getting much face time any more).
With the magnets – The bigger the better, these type are perfect because they’re relatively flat and they have a large surface area which allows them to stay on the surface even with a heavier / potentially off balance object attached.
Next, grab the velcro (make sure it has the sticky back) This stuff is inexpensive and allows you to attach almost anything to anything else… perfect for this craft.
Cut it up to fit each piece you’ll be making. Then, you stick one piece to the recycled part and its opposite piece to the magnet at attach them.
Once you get your gear together make a bunch of items by:
- getting a magnet
- picking your object (paper roll as an example)
- sticking one side of Velcro tape on magnet, the other on the object
- put them together. Think about the best place to cut a hole, if the bottles need to be cut in half, how to “engineer” the piece and go from there. This is great for imagination and problem solving.
- place on door / fridge
The key here is to test and iterate. Anything can work… just let your imagination run wild, especially your kids imagination. Some things, in the end, just won’t end up working. But, that’s the great part about it being a recycling craft – there’s always more in the bin and no one is out much if a piece doesn’t pan out.
Once they see even a few objects in action they’ll be running around the house asking your to try this, that and the other thing.
Here are some of the items I made for our daughter to play with… you can add as many more as you’d like.
Once you’re done you can get the kiddos to paint their Marble Mech (just take them off the magnets, leave the velcro tape on… paint, and then reattach to velcro tape / magnet). Granted… they’ll probably be too busy playing with their new Craftizmo!
Marble Mech(s) Key:
A) Simple toilet paper role
B) Cut up plastic bottle (make sure to Duct tape edges to save tiny fingers from cuts)
C) Pivoting tube (large paper towel tube with old scotch tape roll (on “mount” so it will spin) in center (I cut a hole out and just pressed the role on, make sure it fits snugly). Two egg carton segments on each end (Duct taped on) to act as cups)
D) Benino Gelato tray with marble sized hole cut out in one corner,
E) McDonalds Apple Juice cup with hole cut in bottom
F) Fruit cups (to catch marbles)
Throw them up on your Fridge / Door… hand out the marbles and let the kiddos go at it. Have fun!!!