Project Prompts

Project Prompts

Sometimes, children will tell you that they have no ideas of their own for a project. That’s when you need to make a suggestion or prompt them. Prompts are like seeds for ideas to germinate, grow and flower.

The Hunt for Junk

It’s the Maker Camp scavenger hunt around the house! Collect bottle caps, cardboard tubes, boxes, and other useful stuff for your invention box.


Make up a game, or scale up a favorite board game (a la Life- Sized Mousetrap or Giant Simple Simon on trampolines.)

Demo Day

Teach someone how to do something you know how to do.

Meet a Maker

Go on YouTube and find a Maker whose work you like. Learn what they do and how they do it.

Make Someone Happy

Make a gift: It could be a cake or a greeting card.

Secret Summer Santa

In a group, give out boxes all the same size, and ask each camper to build something that fits inside it. Close them up, and mix up the boxes that come back.

Open each one at a time.

Design to Solve a Problem

What’s the best problem you can find around the house? Ask other family members what problems they might share with you. Once you find a problem, see how many possible solutions you can sketch out

Tinker with Old Toys

If you have a collection of easy- to-open, fixable vintage toys and electronics, then you can take them apart, hack them to do something different or figure out how they work.

Predict the Future

Come up with a design something we might want to have in the year 2040 or 2060.

Saved from the Landfill

Make something composed mostly of recycled and reused items.

Transform a T-shirt

Turn your old T-shirts into a bag, a quilt, weaving loops, a skein of “yarn,” or any one of dozens of other projects.

From Eggbeaters to Mops

Reuse something you found at home in a new way.

Fix-It Clinic

Find something that’s broken, do the research online to find its manual and see if you understand how to make it functional again.

Travel Back in Time

Design or make something that could have existed before the year 1900.

Spin a Yarn

Spin wool into yarn, or turn roving into needle felted objects.

Make Your Own Recycled Paper

You’ll need a blender, a screen, and an iron.

Marble Paper Art

Float inks on shaving cream, wallpaper paste, or even carrageenan, and transfer the images onto paper. Or you can even marble on water (Japanese style, sumi­ nagashi).

Make it BIG!

Take something small and scale it up by a factor of 10 or 100 . How would you make a giant snail? Could you attach it to a wheelbarrow, scooter or bike?

Stools, Tables, Desks

Could you design and build better furniture?

Create a Puppet Theater

Make fuzzy puppets, finger puppets, sock puppets, shadow puppets, or marionettes to populate its stage.

Dig into the Garden

Grow your own food. Plant some seeds. Train a timelapse camera on your sprouts.

Power to the People!

Convert a device to solar power. Power a blender by pedaling a bike.

Take Control with Microcontrollers

Encourage your more advanced Makers to mess around with Arduino or Rasp­berry Pi.

Sketch the World

Draw objects that you see around you. Try turning yourself upside down to draw.