Looking for a fun STEAM activity for Thanksgiving? Turn a simple turkey craft into a robot that draws (or scribbles). Learn how to make a turkey drawbot with the instructions below.
How to Make a Turkey Drawbot
We like making simple robots with toothbrush motors or hexbugs. (See our spider robots we made for Halloween.) This time we wanted to make a robot that can draw.
Supplies You’ll Need:
- cardboard tube or cup to use as the turkey body
- googly eyes
- paper (for the turkey body and beak)
- feathers (or you can make paper ones)
- motor (we used electric toothbrushes from the dollar store and hexbugs)
First, you’ll need to choose your motor. You can build a simple circuit with a motor and a battery like Science Sparks did for their scribble bot. You could also use hexbugs. Check out the three ways Picklebums made their drawbots with hexbugs.
We used electric toothbrushes from the dollar store. Cardboard tubes are shorter than the electric toothbrushes, so you’ll need to snap off the top of the toothbrush (it easily broke for me). I taped off the top with electrical tape to cover the hole and protect from any potential sharp plastic. Breaking the toothbrush is a job for an adult.
We covered the cardboard tube with paper and turned it into a turkey by adding eyes, a beak, and feathers.
Next you need to add the motor and markers. We were able to fit three markers and the toothbrush inside the cardboard tube. I taped the markers around the toothbrush motor and slipped the cardboard tube over it.
If your markers and toothbrush won’t fit on the inside of the cardboard tube, you can tape the markers to the outside. It takes a little bit of doing to get the markers stable enough for the turkey drawbot to stand up and move without falling.
We also made turkey robots with hexbugs and cups. We tried to add markers to the cup but they were too heavy for the hexbug to move. Using lighter weight markers should work just fine. Or maybe try with two hexbugs?
We taped the hexbug to the inside of our cup. Be sure to leave the switch uncovered. Adding a circle of paper to the top of our clear cup hides the hexbug inside.
How will you design your turkey drawbots? Ours turned around and around in circles.
Lily also had fun helping the turkey scribble bot draw.
Check out our turkey drawbot in action.
More STEAM Activities for Kids
- Make a stop motion video with our acorn ninjas.
- Candy Building Challenge Cards – download the free challenge cards and have fun building with candy
- Check out the STEAM Kids ebook. (I’m an affiliate and earn a commission if you purchase through my link.) It has over 50 science, technology, engineering, art, and math hands-on projects for kids.
Do you subscribe to the Inspiration Laboratories newsletter? Each issue has exclusive hands-on science explorations for children, a recap of our latest activities, and special resources selected just for you!