Hexbug Races

hexbug activities for kidsSimple activities using toys we already have in our playroom are my favorite. Finding new ways to use the toys inspires creativity and play. This Hexbug race activity was a spur of the moment idea that I made my son pause as I ran downstairs to grab my camera. We played from after dinner all the way until bedtime and again after school the next day. We didn’t places bets but the way my son was hooting and hollering you’d think he had money on his little Hexbugs. Here is how we set it up simply enough that anyone can do this with very little planning. I apologize for the terrible light in the photos, I could have re-taken the photos in the daylight the next day but I try my best to always share it like it is, and this was done after the sun went down with bad photography light. The good news is that didn’t change how much fun it was.

Gather your materials. You will need some Hexbug Nanos , habitats, and bridges.  I have links to the exact toys we have at the end of the post. If you want to take a more hands on approach you could try making your own bristle bots and make your own mazes with Lego! With a little extra planning there is no reason you have to use these exact toys.hexbug races supplies

Set up the course. We don’t have a ton of tracks so our courses were short but we made two identical ones with what we had. You could do this with one track and a stopwatch too, just send the bugs in one and a time and time them.hexbug nano races

After you set the courses turn the bugs on and the first one to do the whole course and find the exit wins. hexbugs racesIf they exit before going through the whole course they have to start again.hex bugs races

That’s it.

That kept my son completely engaged and cheering for ages.hex bug collage

We turned the races into a championship having the winners of each race go head to head until we had a grand champion. My son decided to make the winner a medal with a pipe cleaner and bead.hex bug champion

Some activities have a clear academic goal,some are about creating something together,  some are for physical development, and some are just about having fun with your kids. They are all important.

 

Quick Links Supply List
This is a list of the supplies ( or very similar) items used in the post. This list contains affiliate links.

Hexbug Nano Hex Cells
Hexbug Nano Curved Bridges
HEXBUG Nano, 5-Pack
Hexbug Nano Habitat Set

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
Follow Scholastic and ScholasticTeach on Twitter
Like Scholastic Parents and Scholastic Teachers on Facebook

As stated above this post was sponsored by Scholastic.

 

 

There Are Endless Ways To …

robot kids craft

We are taking a little break from Christmas things because I had to share this robot with you! Everyone likes to make silly things, this craft will keep creating long after the glue dries. All the pieces have magnets on them so your child can put them together however they feel like. Please please be careful with anything magnetic with kiddos that still put things in their mouths, do not let them play with it unattended!
  1. Gather your materials. You will need 1-4 foam sheets, I am using a sparkle one which you can buy in a single sheet at a craft store. You will also need scissors, glue, a marker, magnetic strips and a fridge or cookie sheet to play with.
  2. Start by drawing your robot pieces on the back of the sparkly foam sheet. I drew a square, 2 small rectangles, 2 wiggly legs, a large rectangle and a small neck piece that I ended up not using.
  3. Cut them out.
  4. Cut out some small foam pieces to make eyes, buttons and other decoration on the robot.
  5. Glue the foam pieces on. Let dry .
  6. Flip the robot parts over and add the magnetic strips.
  7. Create your funny robots! ** Edited to add this picture of my son who loved it, he ripped most of the foam off but created new robots on and off all day. **