Sometimes, children will tell you that they have no ideas of their own for a project. That’s when you need to make a suggestion or prompt them. Prompts are like seeds for ideas to germinate, grow and flower.
The Hunt for Junk
It’s the Maker Camp scavenger hunt around the house! Collect bottle caps, cardboard tubes, boxes, and other useful stuff for your invention box.
Make up a game, or scale up a favorite board game (a la Life- Sized Mousetrap or Giant Simple Simon on trampolines.)
Meet a Maker
Go on YouTube and find a Maker whose work you like. Learn what they do and how they do it.
Secret Summer Santa
In a group, give out boxes all the same size, and ask each camper to build something that fits inside it. Close them up, and mix up the boxes that come back.
Open each one at a time.
Design to Solve a Problem
What’s the best problem you can find around the house? Ask other family members what problems they might share with you. Once you find a problem, see how many possible solutions you can sketch out
Tinker with Old Toys
If you have a collection of easy- to-open, fixable vintage toys and electronics, then you can take them apart, hack them to do something different or figure out how they work.
Transform a T-shirt
Turn your old T-shirts into a bag, a quilt, weaving loops, a skein of “yarn,” or any one of dozens of other projects.
Find something that’s broken, do the research online to find its manual and see if you understand how to make it functional again.
Marble Paper Art
Float inks on shaving cream, wallpaper paste, or even carrageenan, and transfer the images onto paper. Or you can even marble on water (Japanese style, sumi nagashi).
Make it BIG!
Take something small and scale it up by a factor of 10 or 100 . How would you make a giant snail? Could you attach it to a wheelbarrow, scooter or bike?
Create a Puppet Theater
Make fuzzy puppets, finger puppets, sock puppets, shadow puppets, or marionettes to populate its stage.
Take Control with Microcontrollers
Encourage your more advanced Makers to mess around with Arduino or Raspberry Pi.