Make Your Own Robot and Conduct Some STEAM Research

Beep, beep! Use the Kid Made Modern Arts and Crafts Library and a few cardboard boxes to create your very own robot! Using cardboard tubes, create movable arms so that your robot can wave, dance, wiggle and high five. Add a simple circuit kit to give your robot light-up eyes and learn about electricity.

What you need:

Robot Craft

Arts and Crafts Library

Craft sticks

Pipe cleaners

Pom poms


Felt pieces

2 cardboard boxes (one large for the body and one small for the head)

1 piece of extra cardboard

Cardboard tubes (2 long and 7 short)

Crazy Paper Tubes

Simple Circuit Kit with two lightbulbs


Hot glue gun (*ALWAYS have an adult help you use a hot glue gun!)

Masking tape


Knife or box cutter (*ask an adult to help you with this part!)

Step 1

Step 1

Assemble your boxes. Using tape and/or your hot glue gun, put together your cardboard boxes. Leave one side of each box open for now - we will close them up later. Most cardboard boxes have some kind of writing on the outside. Tip: to avoid seeing this writing on your robot is to take the box completely apart and put it back together inside out! This way, the cardboard you see will be blank!

Step 2

Step 2

Get your large box. On the two sides of the box, trace one of your cardboard tubes with a pencil. These will become your robot’s arms, so trace the circle in the location where you want the arms to stick out. With an adult’s help, use a knife or box cutter to carefully cut out the circles.

Step 3

Step 3a
Step 3b

Insert one of the long cardboard tubes into each of the holes you just cut. Push them in far enough that they nearly touch. You can now glue the back of your large cardboard box closed with your hot glue gun.

Step 4

Step 4

Use three of the short cardboard tubes to create the rest of your robot’s arms. Cut two of the tubes at an angle and cut the third in half. Use your hot glue gun to glue these three arm pieces together. Next, use your glue gun to glue the curved portion of each arm to the long cardboard tube that is sticking out of the robot box. When finished, you should have two arms with bent elbows. You can gently twist the arms to move them up and down!

Step 5

Step 5

Paint your robot! You can choose to paint as much or as little of the robot as you want. We painted the arms and then painted an extra rectangle of cardboard and glued it onto the front of our robot. We used Pool, which is our favorite color of Kid Made Modern paint!

Step 6

Step 6

Decorate your robot’s front panel! Now comes the fun part - use your creativity and Arts and Crafts Library to decorate the front of your robot. We used hot glue to secure everything in place, so be sure you get a grown-up to help you with that part! The felt pieces in the Arts and Crafts Library were one of our favorite things to use here. We glued them on to create different sections of the panel and then used pipe cleaners, beads and pom poms to make each section look unique. At the bottom of the robot, we created some pretend gears using crafts sticks and pipe cleaners. We cut our Crazy Paper Tubes into pieces and glued them around the edges of the panel. You can use your imagination to give your robot all sorts of different buttons and knobs!

Step 7

Step 7a
Step 7b

Next you will need to make the robot’s head. We began by painting two circles on the front of the box to be the eyes. Once the paint dries, use a knife to cut out two small circles where you will insert the lightbulbs from your circuit kit (always get an adult to help you cut cardboard!). Read the instructions that come with your circuit kit and put it together. Use masking tape to gently tape the lightbulbs to the box so that they stick out the two eye holes. Close your box with a piece of tape so that you will be able to open it later and access your circuit!

Step 8

Step 8a
Step 8b

Use your Arts and Crafts Library and your hot glue gun to decorate your robot’s face! You can give him a mouth, and add antenna and other decorations. Glue four identical beads to the bottom of the box. Put more glue on the bottom of each bead and place the head on top of the robot’s body.

Step 9

Step 9a
Step 9b

The last parts of your robot that need to be constructed are the legs and feet. Trace two large circles (like a bowl) onto cardboard and cut them out. Next, make cuts around one ends of two cardboard tubes and fold them out. Use hot glue to glue the cut ends of the tubes onto the circles. The circles will be the robot’s feet. Glue the other end of each tube to the bottom of your robot box and hold it in place for a few seconds as the glue dries. You can paint your feet if you like!

Step 10

Robot Craft

Your robot construction is complete! You can now open up the head and add a battery to your circuit - the robot’s eyes will light up! Move the arms up and down to give your robot a fun pose!

Add a little STEAM

*To be safe, remove the battery from the circuit kit when you are not playing with your robot! Without the battery, no electricity will be able to reach your lightbulbs.

The circle of battery and wires you used to make your robot’s eyes light up is called a circuit. A circuit is a loop around which electricity is able to flow. Electricity can move through materials called conductors, like the metal in the wires and clips in your circuit. The battery that you placed in your circuit is the source of electricity.

Experiment with your circuit:

·       Insert the battery and turn on your lightbulbs. Now, unclip one of the wires in your circuit -what happens? Why do you think the light bulbs went out when you unclipped the wire? Circuits must be complete, or closed, loops to work. If something happens so that the circle is broken, the electricity cannot travel to your light bulbs and light them up!

·      Did you know you can use something other than a battery to light your bulbs? You can create electricity using something really simple you probably already have in your kitchen - a POTATO!

·      Gather the following: a potato, a penny and a nail.

·      Unclip the battery holder from your circuit and set it to the side.

·      Have an adult help you push the nail into the potato so that a bit sticks out. Make a small       cut into the potato with a knife (about 1 inch away from the nail) and push the penny into it.

·      Connect the two wires that were previously clipped to your battery to the penny and the nail.

·       Did your bulbs light up?!? The potato battery may not be as bright as the regular battery, but it does create electricity! Chemicals such as salt and acid in the potato react with the metal in the penny and nail to allow an electric current to flow. You can try removing one of the light bulbs from your circuit to make the light brighter.

By Kid Made Modern

June 02, 2020