Maker Faire NYC: Easy Stuff for Kids

It’s truly unbelievable to walk through the tents at Maker Faire New York and marvel at what people have pulled from their imaginations put forth into reality. So much time! So much energy! Frankly, I always leave feeling like a serious underachiever. Fortunately, the Makers have me covered. All throughout Maker Faire was cool stuff that I can do with my kids, dispensed in nice easy packages.

A toilet tube terror in the ScrapKins tent

My daughter insists of saving every toilet paper roll, and they’ve built up into a pile that I didn’t quite know what to do with – until now! My favorite craft of Maker Faire was a super easy monster from a ScrapKins design. Their ScrapKins Build-it Book is full of more cute and easy ideas of crafts you can make out of your junk. I’ve already told my kids’ teachers about this one. (FYI: our own GeekMom Kathy is full of great ideas like this, too, which you can find on her awesome blog.)

An adorable, undead Beastie

If you build a zombie diorama, it’s going to catch my eye. I stopped to see this undead little fella and discovered that the pattern to make him comes from a book by Diana Schoenbrun called Beasties: How to Make 22 Mischievous Monsters That Go Bump in the Night. I’m a knitter but not a sewer, yet I think I could pull off the book’s straightforward patterns.

There was a lot of thinkin' and linkin' going on.

When we go to the Staten Island Children’s Museum, my daughter likes to play with the great big wooden building pieces they have, putting together a cabin that she can sit inside. At Maker Faire, we found Thinker Linkers, which is the same idea on a more manageable scale to have at home. The prices are surprisingly affordable, starting at $55.00 for a set of 36 pieces.

DIY Lady Liberty

The Autodesk booth was full of families gluing together cardboard with fabulous results. They sell kits made from 2D laser-cut cardboard from which you can make a wide range of 3D objects, from a gorilla to the Statue of Liberty.

Simple circuit: battery? Check. LED light? Check. Paint? Wait... paint?

I’ve always loved the idea of chalkboard paint, though I admittedly haven’t gotten around to making anything around the house into a chalkboard. Well, Bare Conductive might blow chalkboard paint out of the water with their non-toxic electrically conductive paint. You can make circuits using the paint. Imagine the possibilities! Actually, if you combine chalkboard paint and electrically conductive paint in the same space, that could be quite an activity wall!

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The GeekMom blog is captained by Jenny Bristol and Corrina Lawson, and supported by a brilliant team of writers. Since launching in 2010, we’ve created a robust community of writers, readers, and media geeks, dedicated to the vision of creating a smart, savvy, social online experience for geek parents everywhere.