Welcome back to the Maker Corps blog!
Our fourth week of making was a lot shorter with the holiday preceding it. We went to Nuestro Mundo, Goodman South, Lakeview, and Thoreau Elementary. We tinkered with some familiar kits like Comics & Superheroes, Keva Planks, Things that Fly, and Maps & Mazes. But rather than give a brief summary of what we made and discovered, we would like to try something new. We want to share a story of a single making session which exploded into an enormous multi-layered project!
It all began on June 30th. Kai and Caide were setting up for their usual two hour pop-up session from 2-4 at Central Library. There were not a lot of kids in the library, and they wondered if anyone would show up. That day they had the Building Kit, which includes a bunch of materials: Keva planks, plastic cups, popsicle sticks, binder clips, clothes pins, and rubber bands.
Usually, kids spend time making tall towers out of plastic cups, or designing and crafting rubber band shooters. We had no idea that the kids would make something so imaginative that day! Kai and Caide pulled out all the materials. After a few minutes, our friend A arrived. We met him the previous week when making buttons. He was really excited to see what we had in store that day, which made us happy. He and Kai started working on building a structure with the Keva planks. A bit later, Caide returned with a new friend, V. She went straight for the cups. They each played individually for a while, but then everyone decided to work together. What happened after that was nothing short of amazing!
We started with one wall of cups, and soon followed several towers. Because our creation was starting to look like a castle, A’s mom suggested we make a moat- a water barrier to protect our fortress! We decided to use the blue popsicle sticks to represent the water, and the green were alligators. Then, A thought we should have an active volcano! We used red, orange, and yellow popsicle sticks as lava and fire.
From there, our kingdom expanded. We made a little village next to the castle, complete with clothes pin-villagers, and a ranch for cattle, sheep, and pigs, which were each symbolized by different binder clips. The blue clips were cats and dogs, and the green ones were dragons. A made a home for the dragons which included water and lava, because they like to live near both.
V thought we should have a road into the castle for good people since it was so impenetrable. She also thought to add a hot tub to one of the towers, which she made by flipping the top cup upside down! She placed the Princess in there. On the tallest tower, we set the wizard. Of course, we made a portal for him to teleport through so he could get down from the top of the tower quickly.
When the creation was complete, we had an enormous castle and city that A and V decided to call “Rainbow Kingdom.”
It was magnificent! Even the kids’ parents were impressed by what we could make in a short amount of time with just a few people. When it was finally time to go, we pretended to be bad guys attacking the kingdom. We shot rubber bands at the walls, and then used a rubber band ball (made by A’s mom) like a cannonball to knock a wall down. Next, A and V marched through the rest of the kingdom like giants until everything had fallen down into a heap. It was a big, fun mess to make, and we all worked together to clean it up after. What an amazing day of making and imagination!
Thank you, A and V, for all your hard work and ideas.
And thank you to all our other friends we've made at the various libraries so far! Maker Corps is mostly visiting elementary schools in the month of July, but we have a few more pop-up sessions left at Goodman South, Lakeview, Hawthorne, and Monroe Street. Check out our full schedule of locations and times at http://madisonbubbler.org/make-something-at-your-library/