Monday, April 25, 2016

Makers Making with @MakeyMakey #MakerEd

I had seen MakeyMakey around the internet for a while, but had no idea what it really did. It just seemed like a bunch of wires connected to the computer and some bananas. Well, after playing with one this weekend, I realize why this is such an amazing tool for kids to lay and learn with.

A photo posted by Nicholas Provenzano (@thenerdyteacher) on The packaging alone had Leo very excited to see what we could do. He was determine to make as many things as possible with the MakeyMakey. The first thing we had to do was grab some bananas. I asked Leo why we needed the bananas and he said it is because the pictures on the box showed the wires connected to the bananas. I can't argue with that logic.

I easily plugged the usb into the computer and the MakeyMakey board and connected the wires to the correct spots based on the directions. Leo does not have the enough strength in his hands to open the clips just yet. Once everything was plugged in to the computer, we attached the wires to the bananas and opened the bongo page. Here is what we were able to create.

A video posted by Nicholas Provenzano (@thenerdyteacher) on

Leo just loved playing on the bongos on the bananas. It just blew his mind and he immediately wanted to know what else we could connect to the wires. He ran to the fridge to see what he could grab. He is happy to report that Raspberries and cherry tomatoes also make for great bongos. You can check them out on my Instagram page.

There is more to MakeyMakey than just bongo playing. The board allows you to do anything that requires the use of the directional pad and a mouse. On the back you can connect wires to act as letters on the keyboard. Any type of game play or personally created Scratch programs can be used with MakeyMakey. Here is Leo playing Canabalt on the computer using the MakeyMakey.

I am always looking for different tools I can use in my home with Leo and with students in the Makerspace. The MakeyMakey kit is an amazing example of a flexible tool for Makerspaces. Since the board just processes the different types of input you set, it allows the user to create innumerable different projects that the MakeyMakey can support. Leo is always looking for different projects. As a young kid, his attention can move on very quickly. MakeyMakey allows him to pivot to a different project very quickly. We played for an hour straight before bed time and he can't wait to play with it again.

You can buy your own MakeyMakey kit with the cool collector's tin right now! Hurry up, but these guys do not stay in stock for very long. For $59.95, it is a great deal on a portable Maker Kit that will spark the creative spirit in your children the minute they open the box.

I will leave with my own little Piano Man playing on his very own penny keyboard.

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