COMPUTERS - ACTIVITIES AND CRAFTS
Make a high tech wind chime from three recycled 3 1/2" diskettes. Cut three 10" pieces of string and attach one to each of three metal diskette shutters (the 1"x2" metal apparatus that slides across the "in" edge of the floppy). Cut two small holes through one diskette's floppy inside (large flat disc). Thread strings through the holes and tie them. Hang the metal shutters so they will tap one another when the wind blows. Hang the disk with a loop of string in a breezy location.
Ask the boys what
they think they'd look like if they were a computer. Tell them they're going to make a big
mask they can put over their head to turn into a computer. Cut out eyes from large paper bags, then
decorate them with colored markers, construction paper, glue, scissors, string,
yarn, etc. They can wear their
computer mask at a pack meeting.
What can you do with all those old, useless
CDs that are lying around? Read
Many craft stores sell clock movements that will fit right in the hole in
the center. Paint a few numbers on
the shiny side and you've got a fairly inexpensive clock.
Save a bunch of them and towards the Christmas season you can hot glue
them together to form a triangle with about five or six across at the
bottom. Insert flashing holiday
lights and you have an instant holiday tree with the shiny CD surface acting as
a big reflector. Great gift item to
give from a den to a retirement home or to add to a church's festive
On the other hand if you have loads of them, you could do three of them
and make a pyramid with flashing lights on all three sides.
Glue a couple dozen together.
Sit it on the floor and insert a six-foot dowel rod in the hole. Instant flag stand for a skinny flagpole
- just about right for a homemade den flag or may be a sign that you use at a
Use them for a set of trail markers or orienteering checkpoints -
portable and reusable. Just paint them different colors. Collect them when you
are done and re-use.
Quick game - have a rolling contest to see who can roll one the farthest
on its edge.
Use the CDs for a toss in the bucket game. Mark a line. Place a bucket/basket at a reasonable
distance. Give points for flinging the CD into the bucket.
· Use the CDs for signaling the same way you use mirrors.
the CDs for a software graveyard on Halloween - bury half way in ground at
Use them for cowboy hat decorations. Cut off bottom half of medium paper
cup. Invert and tape to center of
CD. Paint light brown with dark
brown hatband from ribbon glued on.
Instant wild west momento.
Design Your Computer
Ask boys to bring in
materials ahead of time or plan to have these on hand:
caps from plastic bottles
pull-tabs from soft drinks small box
construction paper colored markers
string or yarn buttons scissors aluminum foil
It might be helpful
to have one partly finished product, just to help the boys start their own
projects. Tell the boys they are
going to build their own brand of computer. It can do anything they want it to. Start by having them pick out a name for
their computer. You can remind them
of some existing brands if they get stuck.
Encourage creative names.
Next give them each a box with access to the materials above and have
them decorate the outside of their computer. If there's time, let them add the
insides too. Suggest they put
special knobs of buttons on the computer that do special jobs like "feed the
dog," "mow the lawn," "take out the trash," etc. Display the new computers at the next
An emoticon is a
simple picture made of keyboard strokes that you could use to express your
feelings. Smiley faces :) and sad
faces :( are two popular emoticons.
Using a drawing board or large sheet of paper, ask your boys to try to
create more and guess their meaning. They may include:
:-) smiley face
:-( sad face
;-) wink :-} smirk I-( sleeping/bored
B-) glasses =:-) nerd :-P sticking tongue out
:-D laughing (:-) bald head :-)X snappy dresser
Write Your Own
Explain to the boys that
programming is a very exact (and sometimes tedious) job. A computer does exactly
what it is programmed to do. This includes programs that run on desktop PCs as
well as computer programs in different kinds of machinery (like robots, for
example). If the program doesn't include every command, the machine must do, the
task won't be done properly.
For this activity, tell the boys that they are going to write a program to make a robot move an item from one place in the meeting room to another place in the same room. (Pick start and stop points they can see, but that have obstacles between them.) They are to write out the program commands for the robot, which you will have another Cub Scout then follow. After the boys are finished, shuffle all of the "programs" and give them out so that no one has his own. Then take turns reading each program out, having the "robots" follow the exact instructions from the "programs."
Get someone from the den
who knows about computers to come in with a couple "throw-away" computers (old
386s or 486s) and have the person work with the boys on identifying the
different components of the computer. They may even be able to take a bunch of
parts from different computers and build one working computer. Make sure the
boys get to see some of the main components that they hear about all of the
time, such as motherboard, RAM, hard drive, modem, sound card, etc.
Floppy Disk Ring Toss
Do you remember those floppy disks we uses to use? No, I don't mean the 8" diameter ones—only a few of us really old computer nerds remember them! I mean the 5-1/4 diskettes. They came in a thin, square "wrapper." Well if you can find some, remove the outer sleeve and you'll find a disk that the boys can use for a short-distance ring toss. You'll need to make "targets" but these can be dowels or pencils stuck into pre-drilled boards. Make sure you leave enough room between the dowels that the rings can go onto any of them. Mark each target with a point value and let the boys take turns trying to see how many points they can get. (By the way, if you can't find any of those diskettes, ask any of your computer friends as they'll surely have some around!) Another suitable computer ring is the CD; many people get lots of these as junk mail