In our recent blog post The Homeschooling Strategy that Works Like Magic, we highlighted how ‘activity fun’ can turn homeschooling mess into something both you and your kid actually enjoy.
We also included some interactive activity suggestions for usual K-12 subjects, as opposed to seatwork. Today we’ll let you in on 5 cool Tech projects to try out with your kids at home over weekends.
Not only will your kids love them, but these simple Tech projects will also teach them to become Tech savvy. A skill that’s in great demand in today’s hyper-digital world.
Now let’s learn Tech and create some memories…
Make a String Telephone
Back to basics! This simple Tech project never gets old. Not only is it fun, but it also teaches your kids all about sound waves and how they’re transferred.
With this, they’ll get a sense of how the first wired telephones worked and later evolved into today’s cell phones with the ability to video chat, surf the web, view documents, etc.
What you’ll need:
- 2 paper cups
- A sewing needle to poke holes
- Kite string and fishing lines
- Cut 20 metres (66 ft) of your string.
- Poke a little hole at the bottom of each cup.
- Thread the string through each cup and tie knots at each end to stop it from pulling through the cup.
- Move into a position with you and your kid holding the cups at a distance that makes the string tight (the string shouldn’t be touching anything else).
- Now one of you will talk into their cup while the other sticks their cup onto their ear and listens. Do you hear each other?
- Explain the science behind it.
Turn an old laptop into a Chromebook
This one is a bit advanced so it’s recommended for older kids. It’s also super fun and cost efficient, especially if your kids use Google Classroom for school.
A Chromebook is basically a laptop running on Google’s Chrome operating system, right?
Well, since Google’s Chrome OS isn’t available for consumers to install, we’ll simply use Neverware’s CloudReady’s Chromium OS Free Home edition here to make the shift.
Let’s go Chromium! ?
- Old Windows Laptop
- Internet Access
- 8GB flash drive
- Install CloudReady on the flash drive.
- Turn off your laptop, plug in the flash drive.
- Now turn on your laptop, press the function key to enter your computer’s boot menu options. (Checkout CloudReady’s list of function keys for different manufacturers)
- You’ll now see a screen with the option to boot from either internal storage or the flash drive . Select the USB drive and press Enter.
CloudReady will live boot from the flash drive and you can use the OS just as if it was installed on the computer.Things are too slow ?? Follow through with steps 5 and 6.
- To speed things up you can wipe your internal drive and install it. If it overwrites your laptop’s old drive, simply replace it with a 120GB Kingston SSD for under 30$. You can then boot CloudReady from the flash drive again..
- Back in CloudReady again, press on the clock in the lower right corner of the screen. The settings menu will pop open and you’ll see an option to install the OS. After it’s installed you don’t need the flash drive, it will just boot from the internal drive.
Bingo, now you have a Chromebook! ?
Bonus Score: Did you know that switching to a Chromebook gives your kid a more secure, controlled environment than working in a browser on other devices.
Tap tap tap! Many of us have dead keyboards buried somewhere in our storage. Why not take them out, dismember them and explore what they look like from the inside.
Your kid may have probably never explored one before (unless they’re super curious), and we all know how much kids like to ‘dissect’ everything. Including their own toys ?.
The idea here is to get a sense of how keyboards work. How buttons are attached, the thin film circuits layout, etc. They don’t have to understand everything 100%, but it’s a good place to start.
- Old keyboard
- Start dissecting that thing.
- Would be great if you prepare notes of how basic parts work to give them a technical sense of things. Nothing too complicated though. These Tech projects should not overwhelm them with too much information too.
Code Your Own Google Logo
Coding is the ‘’Language of the future’’. It’s basically how we make our computer resources function the way they do by giving them specific orders. The language we use here is called ‘’Code’’.
This simple blocks activity basically helps your kid to start thinking like a coder. Maybe you’ll spot some potential there and nourish it further afterwards.
You’ll need: Connected internet browser on a computer or tablet.
Simply follow this Google link to start.
Build your own DIY Home Theatre Projector
This is one of my favourite Tech projects. With summer almost here and most public places closed, including movie theatres, this fun project may be ideal for weekends.
You can set it up in your backyard for fun family movie nights or even in your living room.
The best part is that you can create a phone projector and stream Netflix from your own phone.
- Projector: Instructables offer this great piece on how to create your own phone projector. Check it out here, it’s super simple.
- Screen: Now you’ll also want to create a projector screen.
You can either use a new double folded sheet against a painted wall or simply create your own projection screen in 4 easy steps here.
Well, that’s it from us today.
Which of the above Tech projects will you try first? — Share your creations with us and your friends on social media using the hashtag #youGATthis