With only a few days until Family Day in Ontario, now is a great time to start planning fun, affordable, and educational Maker/STEAM family activities. The maker movement celebrates do-it-yourself learning and learning through trial and error. In this spirit why not spend Family Day at home making and learning as a family!
Here are some of our favourite Family Day family activities.
1. Build a DIY macro-lens – For less than $3 you can transform your smartphone or tablet into an amazing microscope camera.
2. Try some tutorials on DIY.org – Instead of spending money on classes or workshops, DIY.org encourages families to embrace free online education tutorials. Learn how to do everything from coding, to fire starting, to knitting on this amazing website.
3. Make a homemade black light – Black lights are amazing and can be made using some tape, office supplies, and a smart phone. Once you make the black light, create a game that encourages your kids to clean the house – everyone wins!
4. Embrace the “A” in STEAM – Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math are great, but we should never ignore the educational value of the Arts. This paint pendulum is easy to make, inexpensive to build, and offers a great starting point to learn about gravity, momentum, and parabolas.
5. Start getting ready for Forest City Comicon – It’s never too early to start prepping an amazing cosplay costume. Trying making your own lightsaber from everyday parts or crafting your own Captain America shield.
6. Make Agar Agar Noodles – Agar Agar is a vegetarian, naturally occurring compound that allows you to turn nearly any liquid into fun and (hopefully) tasty noodles. Pick some Agar Agar up from a local Asian grocery store and experimenting by making the pasta of your dreams (or nightmares).
7. Make Brush Bots – Making Brush Bots is an excellent way to get your kids started playing with creating their own electronics. They can be made for a few dollars per brush bot and will keep your entire family entertained for hours.
8. Penny Batteries – Since pennies no longer have any monetary value in Canada, why not put them to use by making homemade penny batteries. Combine pennies and vinegar-soaked cardboard to create batteries capable of powering everything from LEDs to calculators.
9. Experiment with Scratch – Scratch is a family-friendly coding language that is a great way to introduce everyone (young and old) to programming their own video games. This program is free and runs on nearly any computer. Try starting with one of their many introductory tutorials.
Let us know what maker/STEAM activities you like to do with your family – we’ll keep adding new ideas to this list all week long. Stay tuned for more updates!