If your child likes robots or science fiction or even just technology try this theme day for some robotic fun.
Print out the Family Theme Day Planner and decide which activities you’d like to do and in what order.
I couldn’t think of much for this theme day (please email us any suggestions at firstname.lastname@example.org) but for a robotic sounding song try (a non-explicit version) “Intergalactic” by the Beastie Boys.
You can find many free coloring pages online by using your favourite search engine and typing in “Free Robot Coloring Page” or print out my Robot Coloring Page.
JOURNALING QUESTION PROMPT:
Write out one or more of the following questions in your Family Theme Day Scrapbook or on a piece of paper to glue in your scrapbook: Can you name some robots from your favourite stories/movies? Are there real robots? What do they do? If you could build your own robot what would it do?
Choose the level of your child:
¨ Toddler – discuss the answer(s) out loud first and have your child draw a picture of the answer
¨ Preschooler/Kindergartener – discuss the answer(s) out loud first and write the answer down for him/her leaving one word for him/her to write out himself/herself with your help. You could also encourage him/her to draw a picture as well.
¨ Early Grade School – have your child either write out the answer himself/herself (encourage phonetic spelling) without your help, or offer to help with spelling each word out loud one word at a time.
¨ Grade School – have your child write a sentence or two on his/her own and then read over and discuss the response. (You decide whether to correct the spelling or not)
¨ Older Child – have your child write a longer response (paragraph).
¨ As A Challenge – instead of a question ask your older child to write a story or a poem about robots.
Raid your child’s bookshelves to find any books about robots.
Go to the library with your child to find some books about robots or starring robot characters.
Go to the library on your own to find books about robots from both fiction and nonfiction to have already on hand for your theme day. Many libraries allow you to go online and search for titles based on subject (search for “Robots” under “Children’s Books”). Reserve them if you can to save time.
Read some of these nonfiction/learning titles if you can find them:
· Robot Brains, by David Jefferis, Crabtree Publishing Company, 2007 – This book is full of lots of information and great photographs perfect for a school aged scientist.
· Eyewitness Books: Robots, by Roger Bridgman, DK Publishing, Inc., 2004 – This is a thorough book full of a lot of information about the history of robots including modern robotic technology and what may be in the future.
· How Robots Work, by Tony Hyland, Smart Apple Media, 2007 – This is a great book with lots of information and photographs about robots. It is part of a whole series of books: Robots and Robotics.
· Robots: From everyday to Out of this world, by the editors of YES Mag, Kids Can press, 2008 – This is a thorough book looking at working robots.
Here are some picture books about robots:
· Baby Brains and Robomom, by Simon James, Candlewick Press, 2007 – Baby brains robot invention proves to be too helpful.
· Hello, Robots, by Bob Staake, Viking, 2004 – In this brightly illustrated book four robots perform their household duties well until a rainstorm mixes them up.
· If I Had a Robot, by Dan Yaccarino, Viking, 1996 – This brightly illustrated book is about boy who imagines what life would be like if he had a robot to eat his brussels sprouts and do all the other things he dislikes.
· Mama Robot, by Davide Cali and illustrated by AnnaLaura Cantone (translated by Marcel Danesi), Tundra Books, 2008 – A boy thinks about how wonderful it would be if he made a robot mother but realizes it might not be such a good thing because you cannot hug and cuddle a robot. The whimsical illustrations in this book make it a fun read.
· Robots Everywhere, by Denny Hebson and illustrations by Todd Hoffman, Walker & Company, 2004 – A rhyming book about the daily lives of robots.
· Robot Zot, by Jon Scieszka and illustrated by David Shannon, Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, 2009 – A small robot named Zot encounters house hold appliances which he thinks are dangerous earth creatures that need to be defeated
· Wendel’s Workshop, by Chris Riddell, Katherine Tegen Books, 2007 - Wendel the mouse must win back his workshop from an overly ambition robot he invented by joining forces with one of his discarded robots.
ROBOT STICKER COLLAGE:
Materials: Coloured paper, stickers with various robots on them, markers and crayons (optional).
Step 1: Give your child the stickers and paper and have him/her either make a scene or a collage with them.
Step 2 (Optional): See if your child wants to embellish the picture with markers or crayons by drawing a setting for the robots.
SOAP BOX ROBOT:
Materials: Empty soap box, coloured paper, glue stick, clear tape, string, child safe scissors, crayons and markers (optional). HINT: We found glitter foam that had a sticky backing. This is what we used to make the eyes and mouths of our two robots.
Step 1: Let your child choose the colour of paper to use for his/her robots body, legs, arms, hands and feet.
Step 2: Cut out coloured paper to fit around the soap box and help your child wrap it up like a birthday present, taping to seal.
Step 3: Before taping the top tie a piece of string together to make a loop and tape it under the wrapped paper to create a handle for the robot (to hold it up and to string it onto a door knob or on a bulletin board afterwards).
Step 4: Cut out four strips of paper (in chosen colour) for the arms. Glue two pieces together to form a capital “L” shape and pinch to hold. Help your child fold the “L” shape back over itself to create an accordion affect. NOTE: For easier arms you could just use 2 strips of paper and simply bend each one to create zig zag arms like my son’s green robot in the photograph.
Step 5: Repeat Step 4 to create two legs for the robot.
Step 6: Tape or glue the legs and arms to the robots wrapped body.
Step 7: Let your child decorate the robots face and body using cut out pieces of paper (you can help younger children cut out the shapes they ask for) or simply by drawing them. Your child can also include dials and buttons but my two sons didn’t want to add any.
Step 8: Let it dry and then either play with it like a puppet or put it on display as a bedroom decoration on a door handle.
ROBOT BOX MASK:
Materials: Empty Cardboard box that will fit over your child’s head, sharp scissors (to be used by parent), paint and brushes (paper to cover work space and art smock or old clothes to wear when painting as well), coloured paper, paper towel tubes (optional) or any other recycled items, tape, glue, markers or crayons, pipe cleaners or buttons (optional), stickers, etc.
Step 1: Paint the box whatever colour your child would like to cover the writing on the box. Let it dry before continuing with the craft.
Step 2: Parent Step: Cut out a rectangular eye hole so your child can see through the box (use sharp scissors for this step).
Step 3: Let your child decorate the robot mask however he/she wants using any craft supplies or recycled items your child wants. We liked using craft foam because it already had sticky backing and so once my sons cut out the shapes they wanted we didn’t have to use glue.
Step 4: Wear it and have fun playing. (Check out our “Control the Robot Game” below). This would make a great Halloween costume as well.
ROBOT SHAPE PICTURE:
Materials: Coloured paper, child-safe scissors, glue, markers and crayons (optional). NOTE: We used glitter craft foam with sticky backing to create our pictures).
NOTE: Help younger children by asking them what shapes they want and then cutting out the shapes (big or small as he/she wants) for your child to glue on the base piece of paper.
Step 1: Let your child choose a base colour for the robot picture to be glued to.
Step 2: Ask your child what shape he/she wants for the body, head, arms, legs or wheels and help him/her to cut them out of coloured paper.
Step 3: Have your child glue them to the paper to create the basic body of the robot.
Step 4: Ask your child what shape he/she wants for the face or for buttons and help him/her cut those shapes out.
Step 5: Have your child glue those shapes to the body of the robot.
Step 6: Let it dry and then display or glue into your Family Theme Day Scrapbook.
DRAW/DESIGN YOUR OWN ROBOT:
If your child likes to draw encourage him/her to invent his/her own robot in drawing form. A good book to check out for young artists is: Robots! Draw Your Own Androids, Cyborgs & Fighting Bots, by Jay Stephens, Lark Books, 2008.
Robot Lunch Art:
Ingredients: Cooked chicken nuggets or chicken fingers, pieces of cheese cut into rectangles (or cheese strings), pickles, various fruits and vegetables.
Step 1: let your child decorate his/her own Robot Lunch by using cheese, fruit and vegetables arranged with chicken nuggets or fingers.
Print out my Robots: Family Brainstorm and together as a family discuss and write down all the different things you’ve learned about robots from this theme day.
Here’s a site that answers some basic robot questions: http://idahoptv.org/dialogue4kids/season1/robotics/facts.cfm
PLAY COMMAND A ROBOT:
One person is the robot (we took turns wearing our Robot Box Mask) and one person gives the robot easy commands to follow (like walk forward, turn left, bend, pick up remote control).
Q: What do you call a robot driving a car?
A: A Road-bot!
Q: What do you call a robot in a boat?
A: A Row-Row-Row-Your-Bot
Search through your child’s DVD/ video collection (or visit your local library before hand or the Video Store) to find your child’s favourite shows with robots in them.
Here are some Robot titles to consider:
· Backyardigans: Robot Rampage
· Iron Giant
Some museums have exhibits about robots or various robotic technologies check your local museums to see what they are offering in the area or robotics.
Real Robots in Space:
A model of Canadarm at Telus World of Science, Edmonton
Robot Sticker Collage
Soap Box Robots
Robot Box Mask
Robot Shape Pictures
Robot Lunch Art