DIY Mini Toothbrush Robot Bugs -STEM Activity

DIY Mini Toothbrush Robot Bugs -STEM Activity

Robots on the cheap! A fun little project to enjoy with your kids. This introduces them to simple circuits.

Here is my video tutorial!

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Materials

A cheap toothbrush
A coin 3V battery
2 flashing LEDs
One mobile phone coin motor
One sticky pad and sticky clear tape

All of this id available in small quantities on eBay at low cost.

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Cut the handle off of your tooth brush and stick your motor to the toothbrush head.

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Now add your battery using the sticky pad. Make sure the negative (black) contact for the motor is under the battery.

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Tape down the other contact on the top of the battery. Your bot should buzz happily around table!

For more fun, slide two flashing LEDs for eyes on to each side of the battery under the tape (the long contact must be on the top of the battery).

Brill, flashy, buzzy fun! Enjoy!

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Autumn Art – Not Craft!

Autumn Art – Not Craft!

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“Step back helicopter parents!”

This time of year the web is stuffed with Autumn Crafts for small children.  As we all know attempting craft with any toddler is a bit painful and you end up doing nearly all of  it yourself.  Lets not forget about Art for Art’s sake.  The exploration of colour, texture and mark making.  Freedom to express without pressure.

Such activities are open ended and the final product is of less importance than the experience of doing.  Step back helicopter parents!  Bite your lips, refrain from interfering, sit back and watch you toddler’s brain grow.

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Here the hard work is in the preparing and the clean up!  Pick somewhere that you are not precious about (the garden perhaps) and set aside some time for clean up.  Some forward planning will pay off.   Have your clean up gear ready so that messy hands don’t get everywhere on the way to the bathroom!

Don’t be trapped into supplying paint brushes and paper every time.  We mixed it up  a bit by supplying a spray bottle of paint and a roller.  Pick some seasonal interesting items close to hand.  We’ve collect feathers, rocks and some leaves from the garden and some Autumn colours of paint.

As the work progresses and my little artist is fully engrossed in the activity, making choices for herself and experimenting.  I thoroughly enjoyed watching her and no tantrums or power struggles in sight. Joy!

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Fused Plastic Bag Collage Toddler Activity

Fused Plastic Bag Collage Toddler Activity

I found inspiration from this picture and decided to have a go at Fused Plastic Bag Art!

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Found at this link:
http://greenupgrader.com/13280/fun-with-fused-plastic/
This is brill and gives loads of info on what you can make from fused plastic bags but we’ve kept it as a nice and simple art activity for the toddlers to enjoy.
Cutting plastic with toddler scissors is hard so they needed help with this, but they are great with a glue stick and these are their creations (after I ironed them on a low heat between two pieces of grease proof paper).

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Not bad for two, four and five year olds. You can probably guess who’s is who’s!
I love the randomness of toddler art, they ignore all conventions and clichés. Truly Art for Art’s sake!

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Super Simple Blinky-Bug Robots Kids STEM Activity

Super Simple Blinky-Bug Robots Kids STEM Activity

Start STEM early! This is a great introduction to circuits for kids. It’s cheap and lots of fun! You will need :
A peg
A 3V button battery
Two LEDs (these cost around 20p)
Two sticky pads or some tape
One 0.09 metal guitar string (one string can make 2-3 bugs bots and costs around £1).

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Slide the battery between the contacts of the LEDs. These only work one way round so flip them round if they don’t light. This is the simplest circuit to show your child.
Sticky pad them in place and bend two of the contacts up as in the picture above.
Bend a length of guitar string into a V to make two antennae. We’ve put tape on the cut ends for safety. The tape also catches the breeze making the antennae move!

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Place your antennae on the battery and sticky pad them in place to form a sandwich.
Bend your antennae towards your LED contacts and when they are close form little hooks out of the LED contacts.

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Now it’s time for your peg!

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Add your legs, wings or whatever. You can fiddle around with the positioning of your wires so the Blinky Bug eyes are off until the antennae move, or easier for young children is that they are on until moved! One LED can last a couple of weeks continuously with one of these batteries. So no need to panic that they will run the battery down too quickly.
Wiggle to start the fun!

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Painting With Fresh Fish

Painting With Fresh Fish

Here is a slightly off the wall, educational, toddler and Pre-school activity. We made prints while learning a bit about fish. My toddlers and I made these lovely detailed prints by dabbing our fish with ink pad sponges.

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We pressed our paper on to the fish and pealed it back to produce our rainbow fish prints.

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My two found the fish very interesting. They were surprised by how sharp it’s teeth were!

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We got our inspiration from this picture we found on the web.

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Moving Sculpture Bots Toddler STEM Activity

Moving Sculpture Bots Toddler STEM Activity

Early Years STEM Activity:
This is a simple, fun, cheap and never gets old! We used our motors and OFF CENTRE wheels for this activity which we have used in previous robot building activities. A small plastic lid is used as a wheel for a small motor driven by a couple of AA batteries. This is mounted on a lightweight foam or polystyrene body. Here is a video of them in action!

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A motor and battery box can be found at your local Maplin electrical store for a couple of pounds! We use a plastic lid as it doesn’t hurt fingers when it is in motion or if it comes loose. Good duck tape is need to secure the motor well so the vibration from the wheel is transferred to the body to make it move!

We allowed our toddlers to work with their parents to build a bot using foam from our local scrap store, sticks, golf tees, matchsticks, wooden beads and cotton reels! This gave them the chance to problem solve, easily modifying their bots changing the number of legs and leg length for example.

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Happy Bot Building People!

Tiny Adventure Toddler and Pre school workshops Cheltenham, Gloucestershire.

 

Simple Reflections Kaleidoscope Discovery Box

Simple Reflections Kaleidoscope Discovery Box

This is a nice activity best for a quiet moment or rainy day with your toddler. It’s cheap a easy to make! We’ve lined thick cardboard rectangles with mirror card and taped them into two and three panelled mirrors. We lined the box with highly patterned wrapping paper. Next we added plastic lenses from our local scrap store, some kaleidoscopes and small toys. Let the experimenting begin!

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Dough Circuits Pre-School STEM Activity

Early Years STEM Activity:
Inspired by Squishy Circuits website we decided to play around with dough and the simplest equipment: Dough (shop bought play-doh or homemade salt dough), LEDs (from your local electronics shop or some old Christmas tree lights) and 9V batteries. If you have some crocodile clips it helps but it’s not essential!

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Here is a circuit with out crocodile clips! To get your LEDs to light you need two separate pieces of dough connected to the two terminals on the battery and the LEDs have to connect the two pieces of dough to complete the circuit. LEDs only allow current to flow in one direction, so if they don’t light turn them around!

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Avoiding problems:
Don’t test the LEDs by touching them on the batteries directly as this will damage them! We tried AA batteries but the current was too small. We also tried Christmas tree bulbs, but the current was too small to light them (LEDs need much less current).
Now add curious toddlers and parents!

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Dough play with a new twist! Could this be used to get daddies involved in dough play?

Toddler activities, toddler classes, baby activities, preschool activities, creative play ideas preschool science,

Creative messy play toddler classes for babies, toddlers and preschoolers in Cheltenham.

Drawing With Home Made Robots!

Drawing With Home Made Robots!

This is great fun and a nice progression from our Brush Robots!
Small motors are cheap at any electrical store as are the battery casings. I got mine from Maplins. Adding a plastic bottle top off centre causes the vibration. These can be easily and painlessly stopped with a finger while in motion. Here is a little video of one in action.

We’ve tried taping ours to margarine tub lids, paper cups, sponges and so on, observing each object glide across the floor. I was inspired to add the coloured pens to make three and four legged bots by this post from Science Buddies! I had to make adjustments to make it safe and accessible to 1-3 year olds. Thank You Science Buddies! It was great fun!

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My favourite thing, Science and Art combined!

Equipment

Small motor
Battery casing with wires
Tape
Plastic cup or lunch box
Pens
Batteries
Plastic lid
Toddler
Paper
Enthusiasm

Science for toddlers!

Magnet play Age 1-3 STEM Activity

Magnet Play!

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We moved magnetic items around our mirror board using magnets underneath. If your fridge magnets are a bit small put them in a child’s sock and knot the end. It’s lots of fun. Theirs also lots of fun to be had picking up the magnetic items and pushing the magnets together to feel them attract and repel.
Next we suspended paper clips in mid-air using magnetic attraction. The paper clips were tethered to a crate with cotton. This is super for practicing gross motor skills. The paper clips follow the magnet as it is moved and drop down when the distance between them and the magnet is increased. It took my three year old a few goes before he could hold the magnet steady, suspending the paper clip. My Two year old got lots of joy out of just picking up the paper clips!

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His efforts payed off! “Look mummy, it’s not touching!”

Creative messy play toddler classes for babies, toddlers and preschoolers in Cheltenham.