Pottery Wheel Now Complete

A project that has been long in the works is our pottery wheel.  The idea started years ago (maybe more than 10?).  The making started at least a year ago, probably more.  Now it is finished, up and running, and well worth the wait.  Seeing the delight in the eyes of those who squished their fingers, in the moist clay as it spun around and around was a magnificent site to see.  Within the first day we had a shelf full of wonders, to be turned into something, once trimmed and fired.


Coloring Marker Bot

We finally made a simple Coloring Marker Bot with our youngest, and it was all joy!  We originally saw this idea at the NoCo Mini Maker Faire and had to try it at home.

Materials: Plastic cup, duct tape, some markers, a motor, 1 AA battery, some wires to connect the motor and battery, and a hot glue stick.

Marker BotHow to make a Coloring Marker Bot:

1. Connect wires to your motor (ours was an up cycled motor that already had wires attached).

2. Cut about 1/3 of a hot glue stick and push it firmly onto the motor shaft, so it is off center–this is what causes the vibration that moves the bot.

3. Tape your motor to the bottom of the cup (top of Marker Bot), using duct tape.

4. Arrange and tape desired markers around the outside of the cup making sure not to interfere with hot glue stick as the motor turns. Also be sure the marker tips are evenly aligned so all colors actually mark the paper as the bot moves.

5. Tape the battery to the cup anywhere it won’t interfere with the motor, but so it can be connected properly.

6. Tape one wire from the motor to one end of the battery.  If you connect both it will start running, so be sure you are ready for that.

7. Connect the second wire to the battery once you are ready to see the bot in action.  Make sure your fingers are not near the motor.  We used duct tape but made it so the connection could easily be removed to stop the bot.

8. Put your bot on some paper and watch it go!  We used an old drawer from our pantry to help contain the bot from going off the paper.

9. Experiment with taping different things to weight the bot in certain ways and observe its movement.  Can you get it to go straight or in circles?

10. Have fun!



Snow Sculptures

A family of snow creatures created by our girls.  They include a deer (antlers and all), an owl with green eyes and a turtle with pinecone legs.  There is also a dog that is not pictured, but was quite cute.  All you need is some packing snow, sticks, rocks, leaves, pinecones, and a little imagination!  A perfect activity for a sun filled snowy day…IMG_0622IMG_0623IMG_0625turtle

Jitterbugs Delight!


JitterBugWe have had more fun watching the kids enjoy the easy-to-make Jitterbug.  At the NoCo Mini Maker Faire we had one on display and our daughter made instructions to hand out. Here they are…what a great project for Thanksgiving break : )

jitterbug instructions

Hopefully we will have more posts soon…it has been a busy few months.

We’re going to the NoCo Mini Maker Faire!

On October 5th we will be heading to the NoCo Mini Maker Faire.  Our ideas and projects are coming together.  We will have a small 10×10 booth with a few things to do and see.


As part of the Cardboard Challenge going on at the faire, we will be bringing our own cardboard inspired game… Ours is a cardboard tower with different stuffed animals placed throughout.  The object of the game will be to take the giant slingshot we are building to launch a bird (hopefully not an angry bird) to knock down the tower.  We will be setting up in the next few days to test it out and see how it works!


We will also have paper for making paper helicoptersloop planes and any other things kids can think of that will fly or fall.

More ideas will be added…we just hope there will be enough room!

Weekend Fun

lemon battery

Last night we had fun experimenting with lemon batteries.  We used 3 juicy lemons, a galvanized nail and a penny to power a blinking LED.  We measured 2.1V at the output!  We let it run over night and the LED was still faintly blinking in the morning, over 13 hours later.  It was great to see the kids’ enthusiasm and excitement when they got it working!