Recycled Robot Craft inspired by The Ricky Ricotta Books by Dav Pilkey

robot craft for kids I love books.  More than my love of books is my love of getting KIDS to love books, especially my own kid. Before I share how we made this super rad robot inspired by Dav Pilkey’s Ricky Ricotta Mighty Robot series of books, I need to tell you that this post was sponsored by Scholastic.  I am so glad that the publisher sent me these books because my son loved them. LOVED. So much that we decided to make a shiny recycled robot craft that reminded us of the shiny full color pages of these awesome books. The whole book is beautiful and I really think those silky full color pages made reading the book even more enjoyable for my son.

Gather your materials. You will need some recycled materials. I save anything that looks interesting so I had some ribbon spools, plastic lids, card board, crusher lids, etc… you will also need metallic paint, a hot glue gun, and something to protect the surfaces you are working on.

ricky ricotta mighty robot supplies

Start by spray painting some of the recycled materials. When you read the books you will see that the Robot is really shiny so my son and I decided we needed to get really shiny silver paint. You might want gloves for this too. My nails are still silver.ricky ricotta silver robot

When dry gather all your pieces and plug in the hot glue gun ( ours is a low temp one) robotricky ricottaand let your robot builder go nuts!robot craft

He has inherited my love ( need?) of symmetry. At one point he was asking me where I think he should put something and when I suggested something asymmetrical he responded with ” Um I don’t think so, that would wreck the symmetry! ” OK then.

I think the robot turned out to be pretty awesome, well worth the days and days of silver spray painted hands ( seriously use gloves!)

robotoooo

 

About The Books!

RickySeries

Ricky Ricotta Series by Dav Pilkey illustrated by Dan Santat

These early chapter books are about a little mouse Ricky who is not the most popular mouse. He gets picked on at school until he ends up saving Robot’s life and the two of them become best friends! You’d think that with a giant robot as a best buddy a little mouse might let it go to his head. Ricky is a good mouse through and through and as the series continues he and Robot continue to save Squeakyville from all sorts of evil.

When my son and I snuggled up in bed to read the first book I did most of the reading. The books themselves are below my son’s reading level ( The series is listed as DRA 20 )  but reading levels are not the only things parents need to consider. Do you always read at your maximum reading ability? I can guarantee that I do not. Reading for pleasure isn’t always challenging. We flew through the first book and he begged me to read the next. I read it then left him the other two books and told him he could stay up as long as he was reading. Less than half an hour later he came downstairs to ask me if we had the 5th book! He’d read the other two books immediately. My son is a great reader but he doesn’t LOVE reading fiction, so his desire to read more more more was huge. I was THRILLED.dav pilkey bo

When I asked him what he loved about these books he said the illustrations by Dan Santat were amazing, the cool features like comics and flip book in the middle , and how quick they were for him to read. Patience is not something most 7 year old boys have in spades so I get that. The illustrations really are awesome but I want to let you know that the whole book is full color. The book is really beautiful , seriously every page feels special. I have already been telling friends in real life about how these are great early chapter books for reluctant ( and not reluctant) readers and I am thrilled to share it here too.

Visit the Ricky Ricotta Official Site
Learn more about author Dav Pilkey
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As stated above this post was sponsored by Scholastic.

 

 

Recycled Halloween Craft and Song

halloween craft with recycled materialsThis Halloween craft was unplanned but when I asked the kids what they wanted to make they both said something to decorate for Halloween. So we gathered up some recycled materials and this is what we made! Both my kids really got into this and as simple as this recycled craft is there are lots of little bits that are really great skill builders. Drawing on the plastic required that they use very steady hands, threading the beads and knotting the thread required good fine motor skills and eye hand coordination. I just love that in the 36 hours since we made these my son has asked me 4 times if I think the Trick- or-Treaters will like his because he thinks they will. He’s proud of it and should be.

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Gather your materials. You will need a recycled plastic container. We used puffs containers but anything cylindrical that you can punch a hole through will work. You will also need some string, permanent markers so the ink stays on the plastic, some beads ( we used applesauce pouch tops as beads too), scissors, something to poke holes with ( I used a screwdriver) and orange and black plastic creepy crawlies.halloween kids crafts

Start by making holes in the container in the middle of the top ( really bottom) and  3-4 an inch or so from the bottom.

Have your child start by drawing your monster or ghost on the container. My son included some writing on his making his ghost say “Boo!” while my daughter just didn’t stop – she must have drawn on it very carefully for ten minutes straight. No wrong way to do it. Tip: If you get permanent marker on some surfaces you can use dry erase marker to remove it. It works on my IKEA table every time! Let the marker dry for a few minutes. recycled halloween kids craft

Time to thread the string through the bottom holes and knot. My son did his and I did it for my daughter.  This is great knot practice for kids working on perfecting tying their shoes. My son had three strings to add beads and plastic creepy crawlies on to and my daughter had two. Making the same craft with different ages is easier if you make little accommodations like this to avoid too much frustration but still including all your kids. recycled halloween craft for kindergarten

Thread some beads on the strings.recycled windchimes for halloween

Tie a creature on the end and knot. recycled halloween craft for kids with fine motor skills

Next I put a thread through the hole in the top, tied a lid on as a stopper on the inside and made a loop on the outside as a hook to hang it up. This just makes sure that the thread doesn’t pop through the hole and the wind chime.recycled easy halloween craft for kids

My son’s craft was donerecycled craft for kids halloween and he was off while my daughter was still busily creating her drawing. recycled ghost craft for kids

These squisher caps were great “beads” for three year old fingers. She threaded it on without help. I did the knots.recycled halloween craft with beads

Hang up outside to delight the little goblins that will come to your house later this week looking for treats!recycled simple halloween craft for kids

 

Ghost Song

 

 

One little ghost went out to play upon a spider’s web one day
He had such enormous fun that he called for another little ghost to come.
Two little ghosts went out to play upon a spider’s web one day
They had such enormous fun that they called for another little ghost to come.

and so on and so on…

In my class I used to sing this starting at one side of the circle time rug calling each child over. My assistant teacher would be last. The children loved it so much I would do it for every theme from dinosaurs to Christmas elves!

Recycled Christmas Crafts For Kids

Christmas adds up quickly! Even when you are focusing on making it about people and not things the bills have a way of adding up. One way to keep cost down and your green meter up is to create Christmas crafts, decorations and ornaments from recycled materials. All of these crafts and activities use some recycled materials. Not only does it send your kids the message to reduce, reuse and recycle it also encourages them to think creatively. ” What can I make from this?” is something I hear at my house all the time ( and not just when I am talking to myself) and I hope that goes on for years and years.

Bubble Wrap Christmas Tree
Cardboard Noel Garland
Shampoo Bottle Wise Men
Recycled Christmas Bows
Gift Wrap Scrap Patterns
Cork Painted Wreath
Recycled Puzzle Piece Ornaments
Scrap Paper Stocking
Advent Calendar from Baby Wipes Container Lids
Recycled Photo Card Ornaments
Magazine Collage Christmas Tree
Wrapping Paper Scrap Sorting
Yogurt Lid Ornaments

Egg Drop Science Project

science for kids with eggs

We’ve been having fun with recycled materials and a few days ago when I heard my son say ” I’m bored!” I replied with ” Want to throw some eggs off the porch? ” He’s 5 so of course he said yes! I told him there was one rule we had to make a escape pod and try to protect the egg from cracking. This is a classic egg drop science project but my bet is your kids have never seen it so go grab some eggs, and your recycle bin and experiment!

  1. Gather your materials. We rummaged through our recycle bin, my art closet and playroom. This is what we decided we might use. Immediately there was talk of a parachute. When I found a treat box it was quickly tagged as a possible parachute. egg toss We also used bubble wrap, an egg carton, some tape, cotton balls, party streamers and yarn. Use what you have that’s the whole idea, to use what you have to make something useful to protect the egg . egg toss craft for kids
  2. First he lined the carton ( that we cut in half) with cotton balls and bubble wrap and added strips of party streamers.egg toss craft for kids
  3. Then we poked holes in the treat box to make a parachute and threaded yarn through. egg toss craft
  4. Tied it on to the carton.egg toss craft for kids
  5. Added the egg. Closed it up and used a little tape too.egg toss
  6. Then we trekked out to the porch and …. wait wait first we made predictions. My son predicted it would be OK. I thought it would be smashed. Then he dropped it .egg toss craft
  7. It didn’t crack! egg toss
  8. ” Let’s do it ’til it cracks!”  OK!
  9. 2nd time it hit the flower box … as soon as it did my son said ” I bet that made it crack!” toss craft
  10. He was right.  I asked him to explain why it would make it crack but the ground wouldn’t. He explained it simply but logically. ” The parachute didn’t have time to help yet and it hit hard.”

This wasn’t a planned activity but it was a blast. It would be so fun in a class to keep throwing them until only one survives!