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Makey Makey: A STEM Toy For Budding Inventors

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Makey Makey is a fun and simple invention kit that gives children the possibility to really get creative and make STEM learning fun. Learning feels like playtime as kids play piano on bananas or use Play-Doh to control a Pac-Man video game on the computer.

Makey Makey

Makey Makey is a simple circuit board that lets you connect everyday objects to a computer. Setting up Makey is super easy and takes just seconds, my 8 year old was able to do it with no issues. All you have to do is use the alligator clips and clip them to any two objects that conduct electricity. When you touch those two objects, say your dog and a glass with water, you make a connection, and Makey Makey sends the computer a keyboard message. The computer just thinks Makey Makey is a regular keyboard (or mouse). Therefore it works with all programs and webpages, because all programs and webpages take keyboard and mouse input.

makey makey

Kids creativity really takes off as they experiment using different things. Any material that can conduct at least a tiny bit of electricity will work including water, people, plants and animals, ketchup, finger paint, coins, aluminum foil, rain; the list is endless.

Makey Makey is a toy that provides endless ways to play with. It motivates kids to think for themselves, problem solve and create. And because it can be combined with any program or application online it can also encourage kids to learn in other ways, for example making learning websites or games fun and engaging. The beauty of Makey Makey is in it’s simplicity and how it acts as a tool or a key for kids to unlock endless fun without “doing things for them” like other toys and gadgets. With Makey Makey kids have to use things they have around the house and experiment or explore how to creatively combine Makey Makey with their favorite websites, games, etc.

When combined with basic coding on a website like Scratch Makey Makey really shines and let’s kids not only create but motivates them to learn coding and programing. The Scratch webite (created by MIT) is free and lets kids use a drag and drop programming language that is very intuitive. The Scratch site has many programs that others have created and shared on the platform that can be used with Makey Makey, you can check them out HERE. Using Makey Makey in combination with a coding and programing site like Scratch really opens the doors for kids to use Makey Makey as a tool to create anything that they can imagine.

My son has loads of fun checking out all the different programs on Scratch and then decided to make some of his own to share with the community online. He played music with jello google eyed monsters and connected our dog Sally to the computer and played drums on her. He was so excited testing different objects to see if they conducted electricity and his laughter and giggles as he made a onion sing and played music by tickling his sister.

makey makey

If you are looking for a toy that will spark your little inventor’s imagination and motivate him to explore and create as he learns about electricity and circuits Makey Makey is a great option.
makey makey

About the author

Paula Bendfeldt-Diaz

Paula moved from her native Guatemala to SW Florida with her husband and two children and together they are discovering what it means to live life between two languages. Paula studied architecture who now makes a living as a freelance writer, traveler and amateur photographer. She started her writing & publishing career as the editor of Bebé y Mamá, the first parenting magazine in Guatemala. She is the founder of www.GrowingUpBilingual.com and www.365thingsswfl.com and writes articles in Spanish and English for both magazines and the web on travel, food and bicultural and bilingual parenting . When she is not on a plane or road trip she likes to create recipes inspired in the flavors of her native Guatemala.

Permanent link to this article: http://growingupbilingual.com/2016/latino-parenting/makey-makey/

19 comments

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  1. Jeanette

    This looks like something my kiddo would love this! He is starting to like programming and I think this would be a great first step.
    Jeanette recently posted…Caramel Apple Pie SundaeMy Profile

  2. Chloe

    Coding apparently is going to be in every school program eventually so this would be a great way to start them out!

  3. Stacie

    That is such a cool idea! This brings a real “mad scientist” sense of fun to learning STEM.
    Stacie recently posted…Have It All With Food Basics $250 #GiveawayMy Profile

  4. Emily

    This looks like so much fun! I am wanting to come up with creative and new ideas for my kids or nieces and nephews, and something like this is awesome!

  5. Cai Cansino

    This is such a cool toy! Kids could really do with intelligent toys like these so they become skilled in problem solving and also become creative.
    Cai Cansino recently posted…Top 15 Low Carb Diet MistakesMy Profile

  6. Dawn Gibson-Thigpen

    this is a pretty cool way to learn. and its super cute. i am sure it will keep their attention

  7. Rebecca Swenor

    The Makey Makey I have never heard of before but would love to try it out. I love the STEM toys because the kids can have fun while learning. This is something I will have to share with my sister for my nephew who would indeed love this toy. Thanks for sharing this awesome STEM Toy.

  8. Debra @ Traveling Well For Less

    The Makey Makey sounds totally cool. Even though it’s geared towards kids, I’d totally love the get that as a gift.

  9. Ann Bacciaglia

    This is such a great gift idea. Kids always learn more when they are having fun.

  10. uprunforlife

    I need to get my boys interested in STEM activities. These activities sound like a great learning opportunity for them.
    uprunforlife recently posted…How to Manage Dry, Flaky Hair in the WintertimeMy Profile

  11. Kathy

    That is so neat! I need to get this for my girls. I love all STEM toys. They’re so great for helping kids learn.

  12. Echo

    Oh man, I bet my son would love this! He is totally into robotics and science! My daughter would dig this too!
    Echo recently posted…Money Ideas for Stay-at-Home MomsMy Profile

  13. Kate | My Mommy Brain

    My girls love math and science. I think this would be a great present for them!

  14. Terri Beavers

    My grandson would go nuts over this. He is the inventor in the family and is using the computer more and more. I’ve got to check this out for him. Such a cool invention.

  15. kendall

    This toy looks so great! I’ve never seen anything like this! I need to show my sister in law this for my nephew. He’s at that age that I think he would LOVE this!

  16. Gabriel

    Our daughter would really like this I think. It’s a good way to encourage interest in STEM fields.

  17. Eloise

    Love this idea! way to start them young… inventing is such a fun concept and this toy is very educational in learning the process while having a good time! I’ll have to get a set for my son, bet he’d love this!
    Eloise recently posted…Benefits To Learning An InstrumentMy Profile

  18. jo

    What’s STEM? That looks interesting I think I would enjoy using it myself. LOL! By the way, do they collect dust?

  19. CourtneyLynne

    Omg how fun is this? Totally something I g my daughter would love. Need to loOk into it for her!

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