Homeschooling Activities: Build  Dinosaur Robots

Learning how to build a robot dinosaur from recycled trash is one of our most enjoyable homeschooling activities.

You'll be building robot body parts using bits of homeschool household junk!

If you look closely at T-Wrecks you'll soon spot:

  • plastic fork teeth
  • screws
  • and an air freshener head!

And the techniques you'll learn will help you recycle all sort of things.

You can use your own junk to create your own robot dinosaur which really moves and looks fantastic!

Build a dinosaur robot

These ideas are based on a book by Stephen Munzer called Making Dinosaur Robots from junk, sadly now out of print. Thank you Stephen for inspiring us.

Homeschooling activities don't get much more cool than this!

Now DIY is not one of my strong points and I had to be nagged into it but the techniques are basically simple.

Fun homeschooling activities teaching STEM science and technology using recycled trash to build a dinosaur robot. Meet T.Rex with his ferocious plastic fork teeth!

dinosaur robot

How To Build Robots

You'll be heating a bradawl (a screwdriver will do) over a candle flame to make axle holes in a plastic spray bottle.

Barbecue sticks are great as homeschool axles and circular air fresheners make cool wheels.

It's amazing how much pleasure my children William and Catherine got from just learning how to make something move.

You'll also find making kids models is a really cool way for teaching homeschool design and technology.

For the full details, you need to get Stephen Munzer's book.

Stephen tells you how to make a robot and also has suggestions for cool activities like dinosaur battles and homeschool remote control units.

You'll find it going very cheap on Amazon but the reason it's cheap is that it's getting a bit out-of-date.

The drive to have 'new look' cool products to tempt us means that a lot of your household 'junk' will have changed design since then.

That's not a problem in that the techniques you use when you build robots are easily adaptable, but it does mean your homeschooling activities are going to have to be a bit more creative!

recycled kids crafts

To help you, Catherine's taken you through the steps stage by stage so you can see the crafts skills you'll need to build your own robot in her page on homeschooling recycled kids crafts.

Make your own T. Rex

Homeschooling Activities: T-WRECKS PARTS LIST:

  1. trigger-action spray bottle
  2. two circular air fresheners
  3. one wedge-shaped air freshener
  4. eight plastic forks
  5. one plastic clothes hanger
  6. two metal bolts or screws
  7. one plastic drinking straw
  8. three wooden barbecue skewers
  9. two plastic wall plugs
  10. Gold spray paint

As you can see, I had two keen helpers to gather everything together for these homeschooling activities!

The book is aged 8+, we learned how to build our homeschool T-Wrecks dinosaur robot at 5 and William still enjoyed learning more about building robots at age 13.

For the first dinosaur robot the children were largely helpful spectators when it came to actually learning how to use heated bradawls and hacksaws – but it's surprising how much they learn from watching our homeschooling activities.

If you get stuck in too it's also much more fun for you!

dinosaur robot model

Building Robot Dinosaurs

Tips  And Techniques

I'm going to put some suggestions here, but you'll find more fun ideas in our homeschool page on building robot droids.

make your own robot droids

I'm not going to attempt to give a full account of how to build a homeschool robot T-Wrecks.

You need Steohen's book and you need to follow the safety instructions. I was never happy about leaving the children unsupervised – a heated bradawl in the eye comes agonizingly to mind.

More helpful is to give a quick round up of the basic methods, which you can apply to build a dinosaur robot or when you're deciding how to make other cool dinosaurs.

As you'll see, some of the techniques came in handy when Catherine went on to build her own dinosaur Velociraptor.

make a velociraptor
  • Cool homeschool robot BODY components are plastic spray bottles, loo cleaner bottles with swan-shaped necks and motor oil bottles.
  • You make robots MOVE by piercing axle holes through the bottom using a bradawl heated over a nightlight.
  • Use barbecue sticks through the holes as axles.
  • Homeschool wheels look cool if you build them from CDs. Or you can use milk bottle tops glued together, air freshener halves, insulation pipe and jam jar lids (tricky).
  • Bits of plastic straw make good homeschool spacers between the body and the wheels.
  • TEETH and CLAWS look cool made out of plastic forks. T-Wrecks gets his fearsome mouth from fork ends heated in a candle flame.
  • Homeschool WINGS look good from a plastic carrier bag.
  • Homeschool dinosaur robot TAILS are excellent as sawn-off clothes hangers.

 If all this talk about building wings and tails for robots isn't making much sense, have a look at our homeschool Terror-Saw:

dinosaur robot

Cool Robots

Once your creative imagination is fired, you'll see all sorts of homeschool possibilities lying around!

Here are some more homeschooling suggestions for cool robots:

  • Antennae – wall plugs
  • Necks – garden hose
  • Stegosaurus plates – plastic spoons
  • You can learn how to make a saw bade tail by warming CDs in water and snipping teeth in them
  • Homeschool body coloration for robots is best delivered via gold or silver spray paint. It may sound a little garish but it really adds the finishing cool touch to your homeschool dinosaur robots

Robot Building For Beginners

In the process of learning how to build a robot it's astonishing how much your children will find out about homeschooling design and technology. It's also a cool way to recycle.

If your children would like how to make a different sort of homeschool model, we've got advice on the best model kits for airplanes.

child building a dinosaur robot

There's lots more to discover in the world of how to build a robot. And dinosaurs have to be one of those cool homeschooling activities where you can really let your imagination fly.

Where Would You Like To Go Now?

Here are some of my most popular homeschooling  pages.  Click on the pic to go to the page.  And - enjoy!

ten science experiments that won't let you down e-book

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