Brief (very brief) list of some fun things you can make and do yourself.
Be sure to have permission from your parents, or better yet, have them create and build with you. Be sure you are careful when doing any activities that involve tools.
Instructables - http://www.instructables.com - countless DIY projects
Khan Academy – http://www.khanacademy.org - free lectures by Salman Khan from art history to calculus
Iowa State Engineering Kids - http://www.isek.iastate.edu/ - summer camps and First LEGO League
Built By Kids – http://www.builtbykids.com – be inspired by what other kids are making
DIY – http://www.diy.org - site for kids to post what they make into a portfolio
MAKE Summer Camp - http://www.makezine.com/maker-camp/ - list of camp-ready activities and some cool video tours
Taking the Road Less Traveled - http://www.pwse.iastate.edu/trlt.html - for girls
Howtoons - http://www.howtoons.com/ - DIY guides, comic book style!
MakerEd - http://makered.org/ - Lots of resources on how to get making into education
Teach With Portals - http://www.teachwithportals.com - use the game Portal and the Puzzle Creator to teach physics, math, language arts, etc. Free for educators, game, lesson plans, and all!
TinkerLab - http://tinkerlab.com/ - blog from a mom who believes that creating as a way of life leads to confident, curious and innovative kids
Code – http://www.code.org – learn how to program in a progressive program
Alice – http://www.alice.org - scripting language for kids that has Alice of Wonderland fame to help you
Scratch – http://www.scratch.mit.edu - story and animation programming environment for kids
Processing – http://www.processing.org - simple visual programming language, more powerful than Alice or Scratch, better for older kids or for adults who are learning programming for the first time, based on C.
Engineering is Everything - http://www.eie.org/ - curriculum for Engineering exploration
NASA Education Resources - http://www.nasa.gov/audience/foreducators/index.html and https://pumas.gsfc.nasa.gov/
Mission to Mars 3D Experiment - http://mars.webmaker.org/
Arduino - http://www.arduino.cc/ - open source hardware platform
Squishy Circuits - http://courseweb.stthomas.edu/apthomas/SquishyCircuits/index.htm - explains how you can teach electronics using clay
Raspberry Pi - http://www.raspberrypi.org/ - open source computing system
Little Bits - http://littlebits.cc/ - easy snap together circuit parts, have kids as young as 2 playing with circuits!
GATE - http://quinndunki.com/OGOL/GATE.html - Mars exploration game where player has to build circuitry for their robot
Let’s Make Robots - http://letsmakerobots.com/ - the name says it all….
Hardware suppliers - all have kits, tutorials, classes, other supporting material
Adafruit - http://www.adafruit.com
Sparkfun - http://www.sparkfun.com/
MakerShed - http://www.makershed.com/
RadioShack - http://www.radioshack.com
Home Depot - http://www.homedepot.com
Michaels - http://www.michaels.com
Crafts and Art
Dollar Store Crafts - http://dollarstorecrafts.com/ - since we’re all on a budget
Mixel - http://mixel.cc/ - free iPad app to create collages
Inspirograph - http://nathanfriend.io/inspirograph/ - Internet based spirograph tool
Graphic Design Games - http://method.ac/ - learn how to pick out color schemes, kern type, and design fonts
Ragtime Game - http://fathom.info/ragtime/ - learn how to straighten out blocks of text (WARNING: annoying music alert.)
Noun Project - http://thenounproject.com/ - Extensive collective of icons, many free for use
Free CAD Tools - the first three can be used for 3D printing as well
123D AutoDesk - http://www.123dapp.com/
Tinkercad - https://tinkercad.com/
SketchUp - http://www.sketchup.com/
GrabCad - http://grabcad.com/
Sunglass - http://sunglass.io/
Make your things 3D
Makerbot - http://www.makerbot.com/ - one of MANY 3D printers
Eggbot - http://egg-bot.com/ - print on round objects, including of course eggs!
Foldify - http://www.foldifyapp.com/ - create designs on your iPad, then print them out and fold
Urban Design – because who doesn’t want to build a city?
StreetMix - http://streetmix.net/ - tool to shape different streetscapes
Blocks and Lots - http://blocksandlots.net/ - game to balance the needs of community stakeholders in a neighborhood
MiniMetro - http://dinopoloclub.com/minimetro/ - build your own mass transit system, get everyone where they need to go in a growing city!
Google Street View Historic Places - http://maps.google.com/help/maps/streetview/gallery.html - Explore the world without leaving home
Smithsonian History Explorer - http://historyexplorer.americanhistory.si.edu/home/ - American history
Chronozoomproject.org - http://www.chronozoomproject.org/ - scroll through time!
Disclaimer: The Des Moines Makerspace does not have any financial interest in any of these sites. They are all dedicated to creating and most post user generated material. While we have been on all of them we have not been to every corner on every site and they change all the time. It is always best when a parent or guardian is present when kids are looking for their next big idea and be sure you follow all recommended safety precautions, use common sense and bring a big imagination. Anything is possible!