Updated: Jan 13, 2022
These design challenges are the perfect boredom busters for students and can likely be done with items in your junk drawer.
1. Facemasks for Friends
Build empathy and engineering skills in this activity perfect for kids 8 and up. Ask them to design a face mask for one of their toys. Pay special attention to what unique features might make the mask most comfortable for their user. Bonus points if they can make the masks with items upcycled from around the house. Sponsored by Stanford Children’s Health
2. Wind-powered vehicles
Let your little learners blow you over with their creativity in this challenge to make a wind-powered delivery vehicle. Craft a fun story like delivering cupcakes or cough drops to a family member. You can even try our materials treasure hunt to find everything you’ll need right at home.
3. Gyroscope Dancing
Need to burn up some energy? This is the perfect activity to stave off cooped-up boredom and shake out those wiggles. You’ll just need a smartphone and some move-inducing music. Have vintage moves you want those kiddos to learn while picking up data-analysis skills? Break out the worm, the mashed potato, the renegade— what else you got, dance machines?
4. Caution! Wildlife Crossing
Craving the outdoors? Think about wildlife in this fun activity. Let your students get creative by designing a structure to help an animal get across a road safely. They’ll have fun imagining how they can help their favorite critter and build problem-solving and biodiversity know-how.
5. Making with Microbes
Got a few days for a science experiment at home? Grow your own leather-like material! Watch as a culture of yeast and bacteria work together to form this cool biomaterial, which you can then shape into earrings, a bookmark or journal cover or whatever your little maker desires.
Need more fun ideas? Check out The Tech Interactive at Home to build your own roller coaster, create with cardboard, and more!