Monday, September 6, 2010

Duct Tape

Place a roll of duct tape on the table. The challenge: make something 3 dimensional that represents innovation. Good Luck.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Recycled Art

Take 6 items from your trash bin (not recycling bin) and wash them off. Then, use paint and glue to design something that the world did not know it was missing!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Simple Machines

How many simple machines can you make from 10 paper clips and 2 pieces of 8.5 x 11 paper? Show us!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Rope Bridges

Using yarn, rope, or string, construct a bridge that spans 12 inches and holds as much weight as possible. You may attach your bridge with tape or nails. Send in pictures that show the construction details and the weights on the bridge.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Post It Towers

Can you build a tower from a pad of post-it notes? How high? Good luck.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Pencil Puppets

The materials: pencils, paperclips, nails, saw or knife (be careful!), one other item

Create a puppet that moves. Send in your pics. We're eager to see them.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Bricks and blankets

Zee has some awesome answers for you:

Throw the blanket over someone and whack them with the brick.
Tie blanket around brick to make a parachute.
Tie blanket around the brick and use as a hard pillow.
Hollow out brick and cut piece of blanket to use as sailboat.
Tie blanket into a knot and juggle it with the brick.
Dig a hole and cover with the blanket. Put the brick in front of it and make pit fall trap.
Break a shard of brick and use as a pin to wear the blanket.

See his pictures here as well.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Collaborative Drawing Solutions

Check out these phenomenal drawings from Boo and Zee:

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Old movies etc.

Find some old CDs, DVDs, tapes, etc and make a person with articulated parts. Good luck!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Glue and flour

The challenge: build something with glue and flour and one other object -- be creative. Think outside of the box! Good luck. Send in your pictures.

Junk Drawer Robots

These are some awesome creations!! Check them out by clicking on the word these.

And, so are these!

Thank you all for your patience with my delay in posting.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Paper and Pencil

The only things that you need for this challenge are a stop watch, paper, and pencil. In 60 seconds, write down all of the things that you can do with a brick and a blanket. If your list is less than 10 items long, give yourself another 60 seconds and add some more. Good luck! Share your lists -- we'll make one big list.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010


Everyone has made an airplane out of paper, but can you make one out of fabric and one other item? Will it fly?

Good luck.

Junk Drawer

Do not tell children why, just direct them to choose 15 items from your junk drawer. If you don't have a junk drawer, have them choose 15 random items that will fit in a shoe box.

The challenge: to build a robot. Only one adhesive item may be used in construction -- glue, paperclips, tape, string, etc.

Super challenge: build a robot with articulated parts.

Good luck. Don't forget to send pictures.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010


I am always trying to figure out what to do with the bags of rubberbands that we have -- not sure where we got them or why --

So the challenge is to make a rubberband puppet -- you may use two items: paper and rubberbands. You may use scissors and markers in construction but not the solution.

Send videos if possible.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Collaborative Drawing

Ok -- you must have at least two people to complete this challenge:

The challenge is to draw a picture using only perpendicular lines. The rules: you may not speak to each other before or during the challenge about the challenge and you may only draw one line at a time. The next person can only draw a connecting perpedicular line. You have 24 hours to complete this challenge.

Good luck!

Monday, May 10, 2010

Food Creation Solutions

Sayer and her brother Duncan did a fantabulous job with this challenge. They used a small can of olives, a pack of gum, a chocolate coin, and marshmallows from the pantry, 2 carrots from the fridge, and 2 sticks from the yard, plus LOTS of tape to construct a helicopter.

I misplaced these pictures so if someone can resend them -- please do and I'll post. Thanks for your patience.

Cups and Coins

Here's the challenge: build the tallest tower possible100 cups/coins -- the number must add up to 100 but you can allocate any way you wish. One more rule: cups may only touch coins, they may not touch each other. Since there is a good chance of collapse, we recommend that you use paper cups and quarters.

Good luck!

Plant Solutions

Magnificent solutions from Sayer:

Sensational solutions from Em:

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Food Creations

Choose 4 items from your pantry, 2 from your refrigerator and and 2 from your yard. You may use either tape, paperclips, or pencils as well. You may use other tools for construction but not in the solution.

Your challenge: make a vehicle.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Create a flower or plant

This challenge is simple, but great for all ages:

Use the following materials to create a new variety of plant:

3 pipe cleaners
1 paper cup
3 paperclips
3 inches of tape
3 pieces of paper
1 marker
3 objects of your choice

The challenge is to use all objects -- when you send in your pictures include the name of your plant!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Cards and Straws Solutions

Once again, Boo and Zee did a marvelous job! Read more about it here.

And check out these super solutions from a 5th grade class!

And, here
is Isiah's wonderful solution.

Congratulations everyone for thinking hard!

Pens, Pencils, Paperclips

Can you build a boat from pens, pencils and paperclips? Will it float?

This challenge is to build a boat with pens, pencils, and paperclips or any combination thereof. The challenge is 1) see if it floats, 2) see how much weight it will hold before sinking -- use coins as your weights.

Caution: placing pens in water may affect their ability to write.

Good luck!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Cards and Straws

Build the largest structure you can and send it's measurements in with your pictures. You may use -- one box of paperclips, one bag of straws, and one deck of cards.

Good luck!

Monday, April 12, 2010

Paper Airplanes Solutions

Boo and Zee used their creative minds to figure out how to build a paper airplane without using their hands! Strong work! Read all about it here.

Thursday, April 8, 2010


Using the following materials --build the longest cantilever you can.

One roll of scotch tape
One hundred straws

Good luck! Be sure to include your measurements when you send in your solution.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Paper Airplanes

The challenge -- using 4 pieces of paper, tape, and tongs but NOT your hands build the biggest paper airplane you can. Then, fly it!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Mini boats

Build a boat with water wheel with these materials -- then, see how much weight it will hold before sinking (be sure to send pictures of the boat holding weight -- use whatever you'd like):

a ruler
4 pencils
2 feet of aluminum foil
a cereal box
24 inches of tape
4 spoons
4 index cards
4 paperclips
buttons or brads

You must use all of the materials.

Friday, March 5, 2010


Noah did an amazing job -- He made the car out of a toilet paper roll, tea candles, Q-Tips, Baskin Robbins spoons Mom emptied from her pocket weeks ago, and two of his bath toys -- an action figure and rocket: all items found in two bathrooms.

And here are some other pics:

Orca and Alce also did a brilliant job:

Interesting Link to Share

Thought you all might be interested in this blog:

Thursday, March 4, 2010


This challenge calls for you to build an arch with spaghetti noodles. You may use 12 inches of tape. You may use one other item in construction and one in the solution.

Good luck!

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Blinds Solutions

Check out these fantabulous solutions from Boo and Zee:

Thursday, February 25, 2010


One of my favorite challenges is to build a car. This time, the challenge calls for using materials you find in your bathroom (anything). You may not use anything that you would not find in your bathroom in construction or the solution. If you can send a video that shows your car rolling, please do! Good luck.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Window Blinds

Using the following materials, make a window blind (and, if you can, make one that can open and close).

Good luck.

a cardboard box (this will be your window)

a ruler
index cards

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Castle and Drawbridge Solutions

Magnificent solutions this week!

Benny and Braidon did a fantastic job! Congrats!

Orca and Alce did a tremendous job as well! Congrats!

Ross, Sadie and March also did a marvelous job! Congrats!

Lukas and Noah did an amazing job too! Congrats!

Selena, Samuel, Solomon, Lily, Josh also did a superb job with their castles with the drawbridges! Congrats!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Castles and Drawbridges

Build a castle with a drawbridge using some/all of the following materials:

cereal boxes
5 index cards
2 pencils
2 toilet paper roll
2 spools

You may use scissors and markers in construction but not the solution.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Nails and Strings Solutions

Congratulations to the Bray family! They did a marvelous job with this challenge. You can read more here. Here are their solutions:

Orca and Alce also did a fantastic job. They created a "musical instrument", a boat
and a "Chicken on a spit". I absolutely love these!

Simon from Belgium participated for this first time with this challenge and also did an awesome job with the challenge. Congratulations!

More magnificent solutions! Click here!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Nails and string

Sticking with the theme of few parameters and limited materials -- this weeks challenge is to place a box of nails, a board and string on the table. Then, create something.

A hammer may be used in construction but not the solution.

Good luck!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Cool Coin Solutions

Orca, Alce and the Langdons sent in some magnificent coin creations -- congratulations on your clever creations! See if you can match the following solutions up properly:

Eiffel tower, camel, smiley face, piece of chicken in a frying pan, house

Another awesome solution just arrived -- it is a house with a front porch!

And check out these solutions too!

More great solutions from JD and Jackson -- coin house and coin boy! These are fantabulous!