Thursday, December 24, 2009

Animated Animals

Your challenge is to create an animated animal using any/all of the following:

cereal and/or the box it came in
4 cans
table knives

Good luck!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Elevate an Egg

Your challenge: raise an egg off the ground as high as possible using the following:

a roll of pennies
4 pencils (be careful!)
2 spoons
2 forks

You can use a hard-boiled egg if you'd like, but it is more fun to use a raw one!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Houses of Cards Solutions

Check out these awesome houses by Pierce and Braden! Great job guys!

Friday, December 11, 2009

Oil Rig Solutions

Check out these fantabulous oil rigs! Congratulations Boo and Zee!

You can read more about their thinking process and see more pictures here.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

House of Cards

This is a version of a challenge we've done earlier -- build a house of cards. The challenge is to use either a deck of cards or a stack of index cards to build a house. You may use paperclips in your construction but nothing else. Try to do it without paperclips -- or do it both ways and send in both pics.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Oil Rigs

Your challenge is to build an oil rig that will remain in the same location in a bed of water. It must be at least 24 inches tall and 12 inches wide. It must remain stable in at least 12 inches of water. If you want a real challenge, make sure that there is a working crane on the rig. Send your pics -- this is a hard one!

2 rolls of pennies
24 inches of string
a box of straws
2 forks
a spool
a cereal box
4 sheets of paper
1 object of your choice

You may use other materials in construction, but not in the final project.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Tall Tower Solutions

Congratulations Luke and Noah on your tall tower of 23 inches! You should be proud!

Sebastian also did an amazing job! Hope you are also proud!

Bodhi also did a marvelous job with this challenge -- you should be proud!!!

The challenge is pretty hard if the toys you pick are soft! Check out the super work of Boo and Zee here. Hope you are proud of your successful Think!ing strategies!

Puppets Solutions

This one is harder than it appears!

Making puppets is challenging. Making them move is more challenging. Making them with these materials is even more challenging.

Congrats to Zee and Boo for doing an amazing job!

To read more about their solutions, visit Journey into Unschooling.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Tall Towers

Tell your student to select 10 toys. Do not tell why --

Once the toys are collected, tell the student to create the tallest tower possible using the 10 toys -- send in a pic, include your measurements. To make the challenge harder, build the tower on the clothes dryer and then turn it on and see if the tower still stands.

oops -- this posted early for some reason -- oh well. Consider it a bonus challenge!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Thanksgiving Games -- Solutions

Journey into Unschooling created this marvelous picture when they played this week's Thanksgiving game -- read about their creative process here.

I love it!


Your challenge is to make a puppet using the following materials. You must use all of them and your puppet must have at least 3 moving parts:

24 inches of string
4 straws
2 objects of your choice
4 paperclips
4 index cards

Markers may be used in construction. Scissors may not. Good luck.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Thanksgiving Games

You've probably played a game similar to this, but this is a great activity that can start Thanksgiving morning and last all day. If you're not in the US, the game is the same -- there's nothing that makes it Thanksgiving-specific.

In the morning, place a poster somewhere that is accessible. Draw one line on it and invite others to add one line at a time. Do not give any other instructions. You may not talk about what you are drawing at any time during the day. You may only add 1 contiguous line at a time. You may not add another line until someone else has added a line. The more people that participate, the more fun this is.

If you join in the fun, send me a pic. I'll post it. I promise!

Check out the creation at Journey into Unschooling if you need some inspiration -- they colored theirs!!

Where I've Been

Several of you have emailed and asked where I've been. I have been pursuing a life dream of opening a school for economically disadvantaged middle school girls. We will open our doors in August 2010. You can find the school online at Charlotte Community School for Girls. Girls at CCSG transition into young women who appreciate the power of the individual to impact her family, community, city, state, nation, and world. CCSG is a family. We attend to each girl's needs and we celebrate and value differences. Scholars learn to think, to treat each other with respect, to appreciate the benefits of cooperation, and to balance the needs of the individual with those of the community. We provide a demanding environment for learning. While mastering the fundamentals in English, math, history/culture, science, and Spanish, our scholars engage in class discussions, experiments, research projects, presentations, and performances. Every scholar has her own laptop and develops confidence and competence in the use of technology. Enrichment classes in art, music, drama, technology, world topics, special topics, physical education and service learning complete each girl's learning experience. Our scholars will break the cycle of poverty that plagues our nation's cities. They will close the global achievement gap. They will live their dreams in this great country that we call America.

I am in the process of uploading challenges that will post weekly again starting next Thursday. I will post all solutions received as they come in, but prefer for you to send your solutions in within in a week.

Thank you for your patience, understanding, and support. Our school will have many needs. If you'd like to be involved or learn more, please contact me at

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

I am very busy

I apologize for the lapse in postings and challenges. I will post some things tomorrow. Thanks for your patience.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Marshmallow Madness Solutions

Straight from the Netherlands, some magnificent work by an anonymous 4 year old and an anonymous 6 year old!

And, more marvelous marshmallow solutions by Joshua and Jacob:

And, Mr. B did a beautiful job with his arch --

I forgot an entry. I am so sorry! It was worth the wait though; here is the massive marshmallow arch from Boo and Zee. You can read more about it here.

You should all be very proud of your creative work!!!!!!!!!

Straw Bridges

This week's challenge:

Using one box of straws and one roll of tape, build the strongest bridge that spans 18 inches and stands at least 2 inches off the table. You may not use other materials.

Good luck. When you send pictures, be sure to include information about how much weight your bridge would hold.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Paper Creations

One of my favorite thinking challenges is to create something with scissors and paper. So, this week's challenge is to create a zoo using 1 sheet of notebook paper. You may use scissors in construction. You may not use anything else.

When you are done, but not before, check out these.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Marshmallow Madness

Last year, there was a marshmallow arch challenge. This year, Marshmallow Madness Returns.

Your materials: a bag of large marshmallows, a box of toothpicks, 2 pairs of tongs.

Your challenge: build the tallest marshmallow arch you can using the materials above, but you may not touch the marshmallows with anything but the tongs.

Good luck! Photo, video, animoto submissions all accepted!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Masterworks from Kreative Kitchens

Boo and Zee did a klever job kreating with kitchen items. They should be proud! You can read more here about the design process. If you'd like to commission some work, they'd be happy to speak with you!

Here is Wyatt's Glass House. Contrary to convention, the walls of this multi-family dwelling are transparent while the windows and door are translucent. Wyatt is a true modernist at heart. Magnificent work Wyatt!

Evie also did a tremendous job! Her house had french doors -- the occupants insisted on it!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Long or strong? Spaghetti solutions

Zee did a another great job with this one. You can read more about his technique here.

Wyatt also did a wonderful job with this challenge. Pretty wise -- he actually stood on his spaghetti -- now that is strong!

Kreative in the Kitchen

Using up to 25 objects from your kitchen, build a house that is at least 12 inches tall, 12 inches wide, and 12 inches deep. It must have two windows and a door. You may use scissors in construction and 12 inches of tape, but that is all!

Good luck

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Super Silly String Solutions

Got some wonderful solutions this week! Xavier created this magnificent marionette:

And, Wyatt did stupendous job with Super Stan the String Man:

Check out this amazing animoto video from Zee.

Saturday, September 5, 2009


I like building with spaghetti -- so, here is your challenge --

build something strong or long using one box of spaghetti and one box of paperclips.

Looking forward to it!

Please send pictures showing how strong or how long -- I haven't gotten many recently.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Silly String

This week's challenge is to create a person with string. It would be great if you could create a string marionette, but this is not a required element of the challenge.

You may use as much string as you'd like and you may use scissors in construction, but those are the only two materials that you may work with.

If you want to get extra creative, load your images to animoto and add music and send us the link.

Good luck.

Creative Cardboard Cars

We had some marvelous entries this week.

You can read about the creative creations from Journey into Unschooling here. Congratulations Boo and Zee. Zee's is the sports car. Wonderful work guys!

We also had two marvelous creations from Zachariah and Aliya. It is their first time participating and they should both be proud of their awesome automobiles.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Straw Tower Solutions

No surprise -- we had a great entry this week from Journey into Unschooling. Congrats on a job well done!

Friday, August 21, 2009

Cardboard Cars

This week's challenge: make a car using some/all of the following materials, but nothing else. Scissors may be used in construction but not in the solution.

3 cardboard boxes (any size, shape, kind -- cereal, crackers, etc.), 4 paperclips, 4 q-tips and glue.

Note: There is a great UPS print ad that is a racecar made of cardboard if you need inspiratin.

Good luck. Look for last week's solutions soon.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Week Forty -Eight -- Straw towers

You'll need -- a bag of straws, 6 inches of string, 6 paperclips, and 6 inches of tape. The challenge is to build the tallest and strongest tower you can. Choose three medium sized hardback books. Build the tower as tall and you can but make sure that it supports the 3 books. Snap a picture. Send it in. Congratulate yourself on some thinking well done.

String Bridges

Use 60 inches of string, two cups, and a bag of rice or pennies to create a bridge that spans at least 6 inches. Test its strength by placing books on it (as many as you'd like).

Oops -- this one got out before it was supposed to -- just consider a bonus from me taking a break!

Bonus Solutions -- String Bridges

Check out this marvelous string bridge built by Zee.

Visit Journey into Unschooling to see more.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Week Forty-Seven -- Nail Clippers

Zee did an amazing job creating some clever clippers. You can read more about it here and even watch an advertisement video. Cool clippers Zee. Good job.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Nail clippers

Use the following materials to create a model of a nail clipper (the things you use to cut your fingernails).

foam board
scotch tape

good luck! I look forward to "seeing" you all again.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Wonderful Waterwheels

Sorry for the delay in posting solutions, but here they are:

Billy did a magnificent job with his waterwheel. You can read about it here. Congratulations!

Zee also created a wonderful waterwheel. You can read more about it here. Congratulations! This was a hard one!