Inspired by Viviane Schwarz’s Welcome to Your Awesome Robot, part comic book and part how-to manual, let’s create cardboard box robots. It’s such a simple and exciting activity for kids of all ages, with boundless opportunities for creativity.
First, find an old cardboard box that’s big enough to fit over a child. Make sure it’s made of a lighter cardboard, like the kind suitcases come in or moving boxes, as opposed to the heavy cardboard boxes that contain electronics. Also, “duct tape is very useful in engineering” and will be very handy.
Cut out one set of flaps for the bottom. Tape and secure the other end for the top but cut a round hole big enough to fit a head through without being too tight to rub on the child’s neck or scratch them. Alternately, cut vision holes on one side of the box when the robot isn’t operational (i.e., the child is not inside the box!).
All you need to do now is decorate your robot with absolutely anything you like. It could be aluminium foil, cardboard for buttons and levers, painted white and decorated with a silver pen… the options are as endless as your imagination. Some suggestion’s from Welcome to Your Awesome Robot include input-output holes that can be chutes (made from toilet paper rolls), flaps, catchment units or internal storage (smaller boxes); display dials that gets kids of think about what they would like their robot to communicate to the world; and attachments such as antennae, propellers, lights, disguises, arms, etc.
Have fun with this screen-free activity!
Picture Credit: Viviane Schwarz