Author Archives: jane

Robot Costume For Children: Eco-Friendly Fun

friendly robot costume

My daughter and I had a lot of fun making this goofy robot costume. I did all the cutting and she thought of all the embellishments. I love it when she comes up with great ideas on her own. At our robot party, we made sure we took photos of all the kids wearing the costume. The videos were even better.

Here is a cute/ funny video. Someday I hope to do a little video editing to change the sound track to something a robot would dance to.
To make this costume, we took two boxes and cut a hole for the face and another hole for a child’s head to go up into the head box.
This costume was made entirely with recycled items: cardboard boxes, broken calculator (very cool don’t you think?!), bottle tops (make good knobs), broken watch, previously used but clean aluminum foil, antennas (from broken radios)… even the arms were made from a salvaged piece of dryer vent. So many possibilities.
This project took very little time to complete.
We made this costume for a robot party but you can make one for a Halloween costume or anytime the kids have some free time.
You may want to check out our robot building game that doubles as a party favor.

Build a Bot: Robot Building Party Favor Game

MYO robot party bots

Gossiping robots -These were made by two guests at party.

I designed this game because I wanted the kids to have something fun to do at my daughter’s 9th birthday party. In addition, I wanted to give out party favors but wanted to avoid the usual candy and plastic stuff.

Even the girls loved this robot building game. It generated lots of laughs and the kids liked that they could take their creation home.
Game rules
Using one dice, roll to see what number you get. Start with the birthday boy or girl and then continue around the table.
If you roll a one, pick out a body and pass the dice to the next player.
If it’s a two, pick out eyes and pass the dice to the next player.
If it’s a three, pick out a nose and pass the dice to the next player.
If it’s a four, pick out a head and pass the dice to the next player.
If it’s a five, pick out a mouth and pass the dice to the next player.
If it’s a six, pick out arms and pass the dice to the next player.
Bonus: If you roll the same number as the previous player, pick out an extra part. You might want to find something to be the ears, hair, eye brows…
Note: If you roll a two and you already have a set of eyes just pass on the die. There is no limit to the number of extras you can choose; as long as you are lucky enough to roll the same number as the previous player’s roll.
Game set up:
You will need to set up 7 trays; one for each number plus one more for extras. Find “trash” for the parts. Get enough for each player plus a few (for variety sake).
Body (one): olive oil cans, large cans…
Eyes (two): bottle caps, nuts, bolts, misc…
Nose (three): misc…
Head (four): cat food or tuna cans…
Mouth (five): misc.
Arms (six): thrift store silverware, electrical wire…
Extras: electronic wires,…

robot parts

Robot Part Trays
Children have artistic freedom. If they want the eyes to be on the side of the head, they should put them there. These robots develop a personality of their own. Make up a name for each. The first person to finish gets a small prize. The game continues until all the guests finish their robot. Some of the bots look like robot people and some resemble animals, some are clown-like and others are aliens.
After the children have designed their robot, you will need to glue on the parts while the kids move on to another activity. I used a glue gun which worked with most of the parts (avoid really heavy items). I also used magnets to hold some of the pieces. (The head attaches well to the olive can with a magnet.)
If you want to restrict your pieces to things that a magnet will stick to, you can make a Mr. Potato Head -like toy (We named it Mr. Bolt or Mrs. Washer.)The fun being that you can rearrange the pieces to make different faces. Just glue a magnet to the back of each piece.

More robot fun coming soon.

Handmade Butterfly Fairy Wings Made From Recycled Materials: On Every Girl’s Dress-up Wish List

fairy with butterfly wings
They will flutter into another world of their imagination. What will they discover in this world?

purple butterfly wings

Butterfly wings- food for the imagination

how to make butterfly wings

How to tips:
I used salvaged wire coat hangers (5) and bent them to form the frame for the wings. When I got a shape I liked, I made matching wings for the other side. I connected the wire pieces with some duct tape. (I sketched over the photo so you could see where I placed the wires. Next, I stretched an old pair of nylon tights (cream colored) across the frame. This is one good use for tights that have a hole in them or otherwise need to be thrown out. I first pinned the nylon in place, stretching it as I went around. I cut off the extra material and hand sewed in place, rolling the edge around the wire to cover it. I also sewed the top wings to the bottom wings. I only sewed half way because I wanted the wings to spread apart a little. After making some sketches of butterfly wings, I painted them. I embellished the wings with a small piece of a black boa (found at a craft store) and some ribbon.
I made these wings 7 or so years ago and they still look good despite all the use.

butterfly fairy girl

Sweet Little Table and Stools Made From Logs: A Home-made Children’s Toy

lion and rabbit's tea party

Lion invites Rabbit over for tea to apologize for his behavior the previous day. All is forgiven as they enjoy the beautiful day, the smell of the Lilly-of-the-Valleys, and the delicious tea.

The log tabletop in the pictures is about 10 inches across. I got the idea for this project when my husband was recently chain sawing a tree that had fallen during a storm. I asked him to cut me a thin slice of a branch. I used smaller branches and my sliding miter saw to cut the stool tops and bottoms, as well as, the table bottom. I used a product called liquid nails (left over from a home-improvement project) to glue the top and bottom together. It was so simple to make.

log table children's toy

 

I’m going to make a few extra table and chairs sets to give away as gifts. I love toys that really spark the imagination.

tea for two stuffed animals

 

Not long after Rabbit left, Bee stopped by.

Earth Day 2009: Happy Earth Day!

Fun In The Making joined the Earth Day celebration in Leonardtown Maryland in the historic town center. I had a display set up with lots of examples of eco-friendly projects and craft ideas. It was fun to inspire people to be creative and to reuse. The day was nice and I enjoyed meeting all of you who came by my table.

The Owls were there too. The Owls is the name of the kids’ environmental club my daughter started last year but hadn’t named until this year. This was the second year that they were at Earth Day, helping children make free egg-heads with grass hair. The egg-head project was a big hit with the kids! The Owls were also raising money for WWF adopt an animal program. They sold heirloom tomato seedlings and collected donations. This year they (the 5 attending Owls) decided to raise money for the polar bears. After a last minute donation, the girls reached their goal of $50. Good work girls!

Some Owls (a kid's environmental club) Earthday 2009
Two Owl members.

happy egg-head crafters
Two proud crafters.

Want to know how to make these cute egg heads with grass hair?