Popsicle Stick Robot
In this activity, you will learn how to design and make your own robot out of popsicle sticks! This activity is great for school-age children to practice their fine motor skills, like painting and gluing while they make their robot! Once your robot is finished, it can be used as a toy or as a decoration, whatever you like! I will show you one way to make and decorate your robot, but have fun and use your creativity when making your own robot!
Popsicle sticks (I used 8 popsicle sticks)
Gray paint - or you can mix your own gray paint using white and black paint
Another color paint if you want to add details on your robot
2 pipe cleaners
A glue stick
4 Pom poms
2 small paint brushes
Before starting your activity, make sure that you have a clean, flat space to work on your robot. You will also need to have your materials close by! Remember that I am showing you one way to decorate your robot and the steps here will show you how to make my robot. But, you can always use your creativity and have this be an example of how to make a robot. It is your robot so decorate it however you want and have fun!
Step 1: To start making your robot, you will need to have some popsicle sticks ready to make the head and body. To make my robot, I needed to cut some popsicle sticks in half to make my legs and head smaller than my robot body. Cutting popsicle sticks is hard and needs you to have a lot of strength, make sure to ask an adult for help if you need it! To make my robot legs, I cut 1 popsicle stick in half. It doesn’t have to be exactly half, so don’t worry about measuring, just try to cut in the middle of the popsicle stick! You can always cut more off of one popsicle stick if you need to! To make my robot head, I cut 2 popsicle sticks in half, the same as the legs. You can choose to make your head as big or as small as you want, cut more or less popsicle sticks depending on how big you want your robot to be!
Step 2: I decided to paint my robot gray, but I didn’t have gray paint, so I mixed together white and black paint to make gray! It’s a good idea to use smaller paint brushes to paint the popsicle sticks so you don’t make a big mess! Popsicle sticks are pretty thin and small so it’s good to match a small paint brush to paint! To make gray paint, I used more white than black paint and kept adding more until I was happy with the color. You can also find coloured popsicle sticks, or paint your robot whatever color you want! I used a piece of construction paper to paint my popsicle sticks and to make sure I didn’t make a big mess.
Step 3: You will have to let your popsicle sticks dry before moving onto the next step, if you decide to paint your robot! My popsicle sticks took about 10 minutes to dry. Remember when painting, the more paint you put on the popsicle stick, the longer it will take to dry! Once they were dry, I repeated steps 2 and 3 again and painted the other side of the popsicle stick! You can do this step if you want to have both of the sides of your robot painted!
Step 4: Once your popsicle sticks are dry, it’s time to make your robot! To start, place one of your long popsicle sticks up and down (vertically) on a flat surface. This popsicle stick will be the back of the robot, and will keep all of the popsicle sticks stuck together! Start with the bottom or the legs of the robot. I used 1 long popsicle stick and 2 small popsicle sticks to make the legs. Use your glue stick to glue the bottom of the vertical popsicle stick and the popsicle sticks you will use to make the legs of the robot. Place the popsicle sticks left and right (horizontally) across the middle popsicle stick. Press and hold for 10 seconds to make sure the popsicle sticks will stay together!
Step 5: Next, repeat step 4 to make the tummy and head of the robot! I used 4 long popsicle sticks and placed them horizontally across the long popsicle stick. You can add more or less popsicle sticks, it’s up to you! Just remember that you need enough on your long popsicle stick to add a head and a bottom of the robot! I used 3 small popsicle sticks to make the head of my robot! I had about one finger length of space in between my bottom, tummy, and head of my robot. You don’t need to have any space, it just depends on how you want your robot to look! Once you have put together your robot, let it dry for at least 10 minutes before moving onto the next step!
Step 6: Now that your robot is put together, you can start decorating your robot! You can choose to follow all of these steps or a few, it’s up to you how you decorate your robot! I started by making the mouth for my robot. You can use a marker to draw a mouth, or paint a mouth, or use a shape to make a mouth! It’s completely up to you!
Step 7: To finish off the face of the robot, I used googley eyes and used a glue stick to glue them in the middle of my robot, above the mouth. You could also paint or draw on your eyes!
Step 8: I wanted to make a button panel for my robot in the middle of the tummy. To start, I used a marker to draw a square that covers all 4 of the popsicle sticks that are the tummy of the robot. You can make your button panel smaller or bigger, you can also put buttons all over your robot if you want!
Step 9: Next, I wanted to paint my button panel a different color than my robot to make it stand out! You might need to paint a few layers to make the different color of paint really stand out.
Step 10: While your paint is drying, you can make arms for your robot! I used a pipe cleaner to make my arms, but you could also use popsicle sticks to make straight arms or not have arms at all! I made sure to measure my arms and place them how I want beside my robot before cutting the pipe cleaner. Once you are happy with the shape and size of the pipe cleaner arm, use scissors to cut them. Using my glue stick, I glued the top and bottom of the robot’s tummy and placed the pipe cleaner on top of the glue. Press and hold the pipe cleaner for 10 seconds on the popsicle stick to make sure that it will stick!
Step 11: I wanted to add hands to my robot. I decided to use a pom pom to make my hand, but you could also use a bead, a foam shape, or draw a robot hand! Using my glue stick, I glued on top of the pipe cleaner arm and then pressed my pom pom down for 10 seconds to make sure that it would stay on! Repeat steps 10 and 11 again to make your second arm for your robot! You could also add more arms if you want to your robot!
Step 12: Once your paint is dry, you can decorate your button panel! I used different colors and shapes of foam shapes to make the different buttons for my robot. When I played with my robot, I wanted to pretend that the buttons did different things, so that’s why I chose different shapes and colors! You could also draw or paint the buttons on your button panel! I used my glue stick to glue on the button panel where I wanted to put the foam shapes. Press the shapes down for 10 seconds to make sure that they stick! Make sure all of your glue is dry before you move onto the next step.
Step 13: The last decoration that I wanted to make for my robot was an antenna for the top of the head. I used a small leftover piece of the pipe cleaner from my robot arms, and cut it in half to make the antenna. It is important to know that if you want to make some antenna for your robot, they will have to be small because they will be heavy and they might fall off if they are too big! I added a pom pom to the end of the antenna by using the pointy end of the pipe cleaner and sticking it into the pom pom. Repeat this step to make a second antenna!
Step 14: When you finish making your antenna, it is time to glue them to your robot! Flip your robot around so that you can glue the antenna to the back of the robot, where none of your decorations are. Using your glue stick, glue the top of the robot’s head, on each side of the vertical popsicle stick that is holding your robot together. I glued one antenna on each side of the popsicle stick to have a little space in between the antenna. Hold your antenna down for 10 seconds each to make sure they stick!
Step 15: Once you are happy with all of your robot decorations and everything is dry, you can play with your robot or use it as a fun decoration!
~ Made By: Katie P.