Easter Ninja Hack: Maker ‘Make Do’

That moment when you realise it’s far too late for anything other than make do.

And a late request from Jr for paint for the school’s annual egg paint challenge turns up nothing but black paint.  And it’s electric paint at that.


But then, every cloud………

And every ninja…….


Has potential for a Makey Makey hack.

No bananas were injured in this project 🍌 🍌🍌



Making circuits play ball with Makey Makey Go and electric paint

A Summer of sporting optimism and the anticipation of the start of the US Open after th’olympics and Wimbledon.  That’s the background to our latest project, with an intention to nurture problem solving skills and perseverance alongside paddle prowess.

And not forgetting role models though making.  In this case though, linking the sound of successes from Serena Williams and Andy Murray to our own game.

The initial idea was to link an extended circuit for the Makey Makey Go to add sound using Soundplant. That meant tinkering with materials such as electric paint, crocodile clips and aluminium foil to get a connection with the bat and ball.

Working from the snickometer concept in cricket, and activating a sound from the ball hitting the bat, soon evolved into a tennis player’s voice from this year’s Wimbledon commentary.

Step One:


Step Two:


Step Three:


And finally:


Minion transformation with a graphite pencil sketch and Makey Makey Go

Yey – Makey Makey Go Inventor kits and booster gubbins arrive on a post-Christmas rainy day.

Questions from the floor:

  1. What could we do in 10 minutes, including the time taken to unpack the box?
  2. How can such a small, portable kit inspire more ambitious projects to create using only space and left click initially?
  3. What’s possible now and in the new term?
  4. How?

Actually, most of the questions became rhetorical. Too much fun challenging visitors to catch fish with Dave the Minion’s graphite glove!

Ideas Boosters

The booster bag of pencil, longer crocodile clips, fabric and conductive tape etc provides a great catalyst for ideas to share.

Back to the game controller for now, though  😄

Sensory Tree: Festive tinkering with Soundplant & Makey Makey

A week of numerous conversations supporting plans to make computing and maker more inclusive ended with an email from a colleague that triggered this tinkering challenge.

Warm Christmas wishes and the question about which device was controlling the lights on our family’s tree. Was it Raspberry Pi?

Actually, it was Codebug; an extension that came through this week’s MakerEd workshops.

But that got me thinking that to make a more sensory tree experience we should add some sound.  Something fairly low tech and fun though; something with as close to absolutely no programming as possible.


Makey Makey festive mash up

Something to control sound and add to the light and festive aromas but, more importantly, trigger routes to progression afterwards.  And with that, thoughts reverted to Makey Makey – probably with some anticipation and plans for the latest invention kit delivery.


Conductive tree connectors

What emerged was a chance to link up a keyboard sound triggering tool, Soundplant, and quickly develop an incredibly engaging and intuitive process.

Probably too many chocs eaten on a Saturday morning, but they were for conductive testing purposes. And Santa really ought to be sounding more Brian Blessed : )