Every day little ones race across the living room and bound onto the couch. Together they jump as if the cushions are their very own mini trampolines. Their jumping reminds me of the character in the book Little Fox by Marilyn Janoyitz. Little Fox loves to jump on his mom’s chair and even tries to ride it like a horse. Then, one day, Momma’s chair breaks. The book Little Fox inspired this fun STEM activity to build a chair for a stuffed animal.
There are so many materials that your child could use when designing his/her stuffed animal chair. I suggest gathering a variety of materials for your child to choose from. I put mine all in a box as an invitation to create.
- Cardboard Tubes
- Empty Play-Doh Cans
- Empty Food Containers
- Cardboard (Empty cereal boxes would work great.)
- Cotton Balls
- Craft Foam
- Scrap Paper
- Drinking Straws
- Clear Packing Tape
- Craft Glue
- Hot Glue Gun
The challenge, of course, is to design a comfortable chair that will actually hold a stuffed animal. We chose smaller stuffed animals, but you may want to increase the challenge and have your child create a chair for a larger animal.
Allow your child time to go through the materials and experiment with what might work. We used hot glue to quickly put materials together. (Caution: hot glue should only be used with adult supervision. Younger children can tell where to place items and the adult can do the actual gluing.) Clear packing tape may also work in quickly holding items together. For smaller pieces, like adding cotton balls to the seat, craft glue will work.
As your child builds they may find their design needs tweaked a bit in order to hold up their stuffed animal. Cardboard tubes may need to be cut shorter so the chair doesn’t tip as easily; a different back may need to be created to hold animals in place. This is all part of the learning process.
Mine each built 2 chairs, and each of them was a unique design.
Finally, be sure to test those chairs out!
Thanks to this STEM activity the stuffed animals now have chairs. I wonder if I will see them bouncing on them like a certain couple kids do each day on my couch?
Check out these other STEM challenges: