I’ve always loved making robots with kids. As a school teacher I used to love letting my kids go crazy with a bunch of recycled items to create like mad. But I realised I haven’t tried to make robots with my children yet. Thats where the idea for Recycled Mini Robots came into play.

This is a great activity for a range of ages. You just need to keep in mind the level of scaffolding that different ages might need.

For example, if you are working with children 5 and under, I’d recommend making little cuts in the box before giving it to them. This way they’ll be able to poke the arms and legs in much easier. You could also give them bigger boxes to work with.

Older kids will love the challenge of using the hot glue gun and craft knifes, under some supervision of course!

Set up is super easy for this, but to save you a lot of hassle I’d recommend getting everything ready for your kids before you start.

If you don’t have an art table to work on, I always like to put a drop sheet down on some newspaper. Then I make sure that everything is in easy grabbing distance for my little ones. Because we’re using paint it’s always good to have a big bucket of water on hand to pop the brushes into once they have finished with them.

Recycled Mini Robots


You will need
A Sunmaid Raisins Box – Painted white
A bottle top – for the head
Pipe Cleaners
Gold and silver paint (we used Resene Solid Gold and Resene So Cool)
Craft foam
Paint brush
Glue (PVA or a hot glue gun)
Googly eyes
Split Pins
Scissors or a craft knife

What to do

1. Make sure you have painted the box you’re going to use white before starting. This will ensure the gold and silver paint will really pop.

2. Paint your box either silver or gold, we put two coats of paint on ours. On a hot day this doesn’t take very long to dry at all. Also paint your bottle top.

3. While you’re waiting for the paint to dry grab 2 pipe-cleaners, cut them in half, and twist them around a pencil.


4.When your paint has dried poke 2 pipe-cleaners into the body for arms, and two into the body for legs. You could also use split pins for the arms, like my daughter did for her robot.

5. Use a hot glue gun to attach the head, and then glue the flap of the raisin box down.

6. Glue on your googly eyes

7. Decorate the body using foam cut into shapes, and glue them on with the glue gun. We also used split pins on the body to look like robotic nobs and dials. You could easily use foam cut into small circles, or buttons, or even coloured paper cut into shapes would look good.

8. Grab a disco ball, and have a robot disco party!

For more great kid’s craft ideas, check out our Creative arts and crafts section.

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This information was compiled by the Kiwi Families team.

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