Maker Faire is a fantastic event no matter what age you are, but there are some wonderful exhibits geared toward kids! With more than 1,000 makers coming to the Faire this year, it’s smart to plan ahead. Pick at least a few key things you want to be sure to see and do, especially if you’ve got kids in tow.
To get you started, I’ve picked out a handful of fun things to see and do, but this is barely scratching the surface of what’s coming. To find more kid-friendly stuff, check out the full list of Kids & Family-related exhibits at Maker Faire this year.
Get started in the world of electronics by learning how to solder, on your own blinky pin. Free and lots of fun!
Making butter is easy and lots of fun! All you need is cream, jars, water, and muscle power. Come churn butter Saturday 11—11:25am or Sunday 3—3:25pm.
Cucumbers aren’t the only veggies you can pickle. Come to this hands-on workshop Sunday from 4:30–5:20pm and learn how to do fermentation and vinegar-brine-style pickling techniques.
Come build a boat and float it down this play river!
Tapigami is sculpture made of masking tape. Come learn the technique for making Tapigami, and add your own piece to the Tapigami city!
Young maker Ellie Rose White will show you how to make bracelets, dog gear, water bottle holders, and other gadgets from 550 paracord, which can be deployed to save lives in emergencies.
Come and make wonderful, colorful creations that combine art and mathematics. Warning: it’s addictive!
Come build massive mechanical constructions out of drinking straws. Dream big, build bigger!
Cindy Ann Ganaden, author of the new craft book Just Us Girls, will be hosting a crafting session where you can make your own medallion to show off your accomplishments or congratulate someone else on theirs.
Build a working ArtBot out of surplus motors, switches, and laser cut parts.
Come learn a simple Taiko drumming tune.
Learn basic stone and woodworking techniques through beadmaking, shaping and polishing stone, and grinding pine nuts.
Come learn how to become a stilter!
Help draw eight-foot-diameter spiral designs with sidewalk chalk. Push the handle around the circle and watch the bicycle wheel draw loops and swirls.
Make an octopus from a pair of knit gloves. Only rudimentary sewing skills required! Children under 12, bring an adult, please.
Build a 3D model of cells out of colorful clay. Take your model home, let it dry, and then slice it into cross-sections and examine what you find!
Follow clues to letterboxes hidden around the Faire. Carve your own stamp to leave your mark in the boxes and stamp our images into your book.
Join SCRAP in creating a collaborative mandala out of reusable art supplies, or make your own sculpture out of CDs, buttons, beads, and toys.
Come ask the Psychic Typist for your fortune, and she will type it out for you. Kids can play with the typewriter, too!
Founding Make: Editor-in-Chief Mark Frauenfelder and his daughter, 11-year-old Jane, will present projects from Mark’s new book, Maker Dad, including lunch box guitars, antigravity jars, and other cool projects. Check it out Sunday from 3–3:30pm.
Choo choo! Take a load off by riding around the Faire on this fun 5 1/2’-long train.
Russell the Giraffe is one of the most iconic projects at Maker Faire. He rolls, plays music, and he’ll bow down and talk to you, if you pet him.
The Life-Size Mousetrap is a fantastic, giant Rube Goldberg-style contraption combined with a dazzling Vaudevillian style show, with mice can-can dancers and clowns. Check out the show Saturday or Sunday 11–11:45am for spectacle-laden fun.
Come check out Lego creations by the members of the Bay Area Lego Users Group and build some Lego creations of your own!
Immerse yourself in an illuminated Astro Botanical Forest, and spin, dance, and play with light-up toys.
Other things to remember: bring a hat, sunglasses, and sunscreen, and of course, stay hydrated. If you’re a teacher, check out Michelle Hlubinka’s great post on Maker Week for Teachers. It includes a nice roundup of education-related presentations happening this weekend at Maker Faire Bay Area.
When you’re here, don’t forget to tag your Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and G+ posts #makerfaire. Have fun!
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