Little Bunnies and littleBits

It’s in my best interest to keep my four year old niece occupied with art projects. I swear. I don’t do it because I love crafting. She never leaves the table and the project and I’m never just sitting there by my self getting annoyed with mod podge. Nope, never.

What can I say? I LOVE crafting!

I found these adorable bunnies on Pinterest, but no actual instructions so I just sort of came up with my own based on the picture. I wrapped each toilet paper roll with tissue paper from my stash using mod podge and putting on a couple of layers to cover the roll completely. After the mod podge had dried, I used hot glue to put on googlie eyes, pipe cleaner for the whiskers, and a button for the nose. Looking at the picture on Pinterest I cut out the ears and feet. Sometimes I get lucky and my first attempt is perfect and even I was amazed how the ears turned out freehand. So I traced them on another piece of paper and it came out worse. What? Le Sigh. After we colored the ears with markers I used Elmers glue to attach the ears and feet to the cardboard.

The stick bunnies are Popsicle sticks colored with markers and with attachments with hot glue

The stick bunnies are Popsicle sticks colored with markers and the same attachments with hot glue

If you notice one of the bunnies does not have a button nose. That was not an accident. My mother was visiting and she brought a littleBits kit with her for my niece. While crafting I got an idea to use the littleBits in our art project and add an engineering component.

littleBits is an “opensource library of electronic modules that snap together with tiny magnets for prototyping, learning, and fun.” Because of the magnets and color coordination anyone (even a four year old) can learn how to put circuits together to create electricity that turns on lights, makes noise, or this thing that vibrates. (We tried to make a tickle machine, but it needs some modification to work better.) My mother works for the company as their Education Account Manager.

Putting together our circuit for the bunnie nose

Putting together our circuit for the bunny nose

I needed my niece’s help to get started with the circuitry. No joke. My mother taught her how to put the pieces together and she later taught me that I needed a blue piece (she wasn’t even able to see the pieces being shorter than the counter and not on a stool at the moment) in order to get started. She was right. We clicked all the pieces together and got the circuit to light up the bulb. I created a hole out of the back of the second bunny and hid the circuitry in the bunny itself. And voila, a bunny with a nose that lights up!

Engineering art

Engineering art

I really enjoyed this project on several levels. I enjoyed that the littleBits added science and engineering to our construction. I think it’s important to introduce children to the way things work in a fun and creative manner. My niece loves learning how things work, which I assume is why she is always asking why. But for girls it helps to have a “story” or meaning behind the creation. This time it was adding to our art project of adorable bunnies a nose that lights up!

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