Meet the Makers at ACM

12 04 2013

The time has finally come! On Sunday, May 5, Austin Children’s Museum will be participating in the 2013 Austin Mini Maker Faire. The event will be held at the Palmer Events Center from 10am -6pm.

What is Mini Maker Faire? It’s a community-oriented learning event where families and individuals are brought together to showcase any and all Do-It-Yourself projects. Maker Faire is arranged in a show-and-tell format, allowing makers to connect by showing what they’ve made and sharing what they’ve learned.

Credit: Austin Mini Maker Faire

Credit: Austin Mini Maker Faire

Every Sunday at ACM, we welcome this year’s Makers to show off their stuff and answer any questions. A special guest leads the activity as Makers do different DIY activities to prepare for the upcoming event.

Last week at Meet the Makers, we had fun making our own soap from scratch!

On Sunday, April 14, join the Makers from Austin Mini Maker Faire Craft division and design a beautiful denim crown to wear home. Burnadette Noll will be attending as our special guest and she will have everything you need to stitch and create a unique upcycled crown. Show the world that you are the King or Queen of your very own universe and come meet the Makers to get excited for Mini Maker Faire on May 5!

Make a Mother’s Day Bouquet!

10 05 2012
Mother’s Day is this weekend, and we couldn’t be happier to celebrate moms and every thing they do! This year, we wanted to make a bright and happy bouquet that would last for a long time. Here’s how we did it:
  • Card stock (assorted colors)
  • Decorative Scissors
  • Glue
  • Stapler (optional)
  • Envelopes

To make this hand made flower bouquet, we need to start by creating a ‘vase’ for the flowers to stand in. To do this simply follow these steps:

– First cut a simple wave across the top of a sheet of card stock.

-Fold a small section of the cardstock in to create a tab.

-Fold the card stock into three sections and glue down using the tab.

Next we move on to creating the flowers!

For this you will use different colored card stock to make the flowers brights and colorful!

– Cut out circles of all colors and sizes.

– Cut petal designs to the edges of the larger circles

– Glue the smaller circle into the center of the larger circle.

– Grab some green card stock and cut out stem shapes for as many flowers as you want to make.

Finally, glue the stems of the flowers into the vase to be sure that they will not fall.

You can always add extra decoration to the outside of your vase. Try adding your own special, personalized message to your mother on her special day!

Recycled Robot Contest

24 04 2012

Every spring, the Austin Children’s Museum hosts a fundraising gala called Imaginarium. This year’s event will celebrate all things tinkering, and in that spirit, we’re decorating the tables with Recycled Robot Centerpieces. We’re asking for submissions of child-created robots and even having a Recycled Robot Contest. Would you like to enter? Here are some guidelines:

  • The robot must be friendly
  • The robot cannot be more than 12 inches tall and 12 inches wide
  • The robot must be made of objects you already have. Please do not go out and purchase anything.
  • The robot needs a name and job. Please wire this on an index card, along with your first name and age.
  • The robot should be stationary – no movable parts, please.

A panel of judges will evaluate the robots on creativity, use of recycled materials, and whether it met the guidelines. Robots will not be returned to their makers.

The winner of the Recycled Robot Contest will win a free Blowout Bash Birthday at the Austin Children’s Museum. A winner will be announced on May 18th.

Want to participate? Download this pdf entry form: robotcontest. Then, make a robot and deliver it to the Museum by Friday, May 4th at 5pm.

We used recycled material we found around the Museum to make a Catbot and this robot collage:

Origami Origins Unfolded…

30 09 2011

Have you ever made a paper plane? Well I bet as you made it you didn’t know you were practicing origami, did you? Origami which means paper folding in Japanese, is just that: folding paper. But it is much more complex than your average folded sheet. The way in which you fold your paper can create many intricate designs. The traditions of paper folding are rooted in China and go as far back as 100 A.D. That’s 1,911 years ago!

One of the most common things to create in origami is a crane. The Japanese word for crane is Tsuru, and the bird is a symbol for happiness, good luck, and peace. For the Japanese, the crane also represents long-life, as it was believed in tales that a crane could live 1,000 years! That’s why the belief is that if you fold 1,000 paper cranes you will be granted a wish by the mystical bird.

Come check out our 1,000 paper cranes here at ACM. The paper cranes here were created by the Thousand Cranes of Peace project. Their project provides resources to families seeking peace from domestic violence.

If you’d like a wish to be granted, learn how to fold the famous crane here: Origami Peace Crane.

And if you would like a simpler origami project, follow the slideshow below to make your own origami house!

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Let us know how your origami projects turned out! And tell us about a wish you have worth 1,000 paper cranes.

Fall Facts and Fun!

19 09 2011

Here at The Austin Children’s Museum we’re excited that Summer is leaving and the weather is starting to cool, which means autumn is just around the corner.

Autumn is one of the four seasons and it typically falls between September 21st and December 21st. Why is autumn sometimes called Fall then? Because leaves fall off of deciduous trees during the season. Here are some cool facts about fall leaves from LoveToKnow.  You should learn this before autumn starts and summer leaves!

  • Leaves require sunlight, water, chlorophyll and carbon dioxide to make food for themselves.
  • As winter approaches, leaves make a coating for themselves which blocks their water source; in the absence of water, the leaves no longer produce chlorophyll (chlorophyll is what makes leaves green).
  • When the leaves turn colors in the fall, they actually are returning to their normal colors. During the summer months, the chlorophyll in the leaves causes them to turn green, blocking the leaves’ actual colors.
  • Along with chlorophyll, leaves contain two other chemicals that cause coloring. The first is called xanthophyll, which is yellow in color. The other is carotene, which is orange in color.
  • Red and purple leaves are actually caused by the presence of sugars from sap that is trapped inside of the leaves.
  • Once the leaves have turned brown, they are dead and no longer receive any nutrients.

Leaves are pretty interesting right? They can even be used for art! Check out how we used leaves creatively in these activities:

Color one yourself: Leaf Man and Butterfly Leaf

And send us your leaf art!

Celebrate Family!: Make a Family Tree

7 09 2011

It’s just starting to cool off, and we all know summer is coming to an end. Heading back to school means less time with the family. So let’s celebrate family one last time before we get back into the daily grind

Here at The Austin Children’s Museum we celebrate family and demonstrate its importance in our exhibit En Mi Familia. En Mi Familia centers around the children’s book of the same name, written and illustrated by Carmen Lomas Garza. Check out the exhibit online: En Mi Familia and the book which inspired the exhibit

En Mi Familia teaches us to love our roots. And what better way to prepare us for our upcoming adventures in school than to remember our roots with our very own family tree!

To make your own at home, print out this cool activity: Family Tree

  • Fill in your family’s name at the bottom and the names of your brothers and sisters next to the empty leaves
  • Use ink to fingerprint your spot and have your family get involved by inking their own leaves too
  • Don’t have ink? Try using a washable marker: color directly onto your finger, then voila! instant ink
  • Use crayons, pencils or markers to color in the rest of the activity to add some fun
  • Hang in a spot you can see everyday, so you remember the importance of your roots

Be sure to visit The Austin Children’s Museum before En Mi Familia leaves September 18th, and send us your finished family trees!

Need an Idea for a Father’s Day Card?

10 06 2011

The first Father’s Day was on June 19, 1910 in Spokane, Washington. That was 101 years ago! This year the holiday is also on June 19 and is celebrated all over the world. You can learn the history of Father’s Day and a few creative ideas on what you can do for your father from Kaboose.

Making a Father’s Day card can show your father that you are artistic and that you care about him. We made a few example cards to show you how creative you can be. Take a look!

If you’d like to make a Father’s Day fish card, click here.

If you’d like to make a Father’s Day language card, click here for a list of different languages.

If you’d like to make a Father’s Day shirt and tie card, click here.

We celebrate fatherhood on Saturday mornings when the Museum opens it’s doors for Cub Club from 9-10 am. This program is for kids under 3 and encourages their fathers to join by allowing them to come in for free. Father’s Day could be celebrated any Saturday you wish here with us and your kids.


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