How to use a MaKey MaKey as a great icebreaker

At the MakerBus we work with a lot of different ages, experience levels, and backgrounds – and we’ve noticed that many learners are reluctant to dive into maker education. Our projects can be quite different than traditional education projects and can seem intimidating or strange to many learners.

If you’re a maker educator and need a great way to break the ice while introducing maker technologies, we have the perfect activity – turning your learners into video game controllers using the MaKey MaKey.

The MaKey MaKey is a small circuit board that transforms anything that conducts electricity into an input device for your computer.


This icebreaker activity is simple, fun, and takes very little time to set up. Connect a MaKey MaKey to a computer, load a popular video game (we like Tetris or PacMan), have four learners become the “Up, Down, Left, and Right” buttons, and make one learner the player (the person in charge of actually playing the game).

The learners will have to decide how best to arrange themselves so that the player can reach everyone and know which person is which button. This makes learners communicate under pressure and work together as a team – building trust and breaking down communication barriers.

For added fun you can have groups of learners compete against each other to see who can achieve the highest scores, or ask learners to rotate roles every 30 seconds to keep people thinking on their feet.

What are your favourite icebreaker activities? We’d love to hear about them in our comments section.

If you liked this article, why not follow the MakerBus on twitter (@DHMakerBus) or like us on Facebook (/dhmakerbus)? We post some of the most creative maker projects found on the web every day. If you #getonthebus, we promise a fun ride!

-The MakerBus team

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