Preschoolers are fascinated by robots but most robotics kits are intended for older children with advanced skills. In my work developing robotics curricula for early childhood classrooms, I’ve discovered that one way to engage young children in working with authentic robotics components is to invite them to combine the plastic or metal hardware with soft elements like foam and clay. For example, the robot in the photo above was designed and built by a four year-old out of clay combined with real nuts, bolts and washers.

In a few weeks I’ll be leading a similar activity at a Mini Maker Faire in Palatine on Saturday, May 21. Here’s a description of the activity we’ll be offering at the Center for Talent Development booth.

Make a Mini Model Robot:

Design the robot of your dreams! What tasks would you like your robot to accomplish? Imagine the characteristics and features of your robot. Then build a robot prototype out of plastic, clay and spare parts.

The Palatine Mini Maker Faire is hosted by Quest Academy. This Maker Faire is an opportunity for makers, inventors, artists, and tinkerers from Chicago, Northern Illinois, Southern Wisconsin and all over the Midwest to share their creativity with others. Hope you’ll join us!

For more information:

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