Magnetic Alien Robots

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Transform tin cans into silly, changeable Alien Robots with a few odds and ends and some magnets.

I try to keep on the lookout for simple craft ideas I can do with my son, and recently found a few ideas in a book from the Dollar Tree called “Family Fun – Fun for Kids”. You can, of course, also find books at the library with craft ideas like this. Here is our version of some magnetic ‘Robots’ made out of tin cans.

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Here are the materials that we used:

Clean tin cans (I like the ones with the pop-off lids, they seem to have a bit safer edges)
Strong glue (I used hot glue)
Strong flat craft magnets
Hardware odds and ends
Wiggle eyes
Buttons
Pipe cleaners
Colored cardstock (you might recognize mine as left-over paint chip dots)

*Note: This is an idea for a craft that worked for my family but it utilizes small parts and may not be appropriate for all kids—especially smaller ones. When crafting with your kids, please always be cautious, closely supervise children and do only what is appropriate for those in your care!

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Basically, we just chose some different hardware odds and ends (nothing with sharp edges, obviously) and starting gluing them to the magnets to create face-parts. Buttons, washers and other metal pieces made eyes, noses and mouths with a few arm shapes and antennae thrown in for good measure. It really doesn’t matter what you come up with, since it’s all made up anyway.

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My son made little ‘eyelashes’ here from the edge of a paper plate. But, because my son is still small, I did all the gluing with this project, since I was using hot glue. So this may be a project for kids a little older than mine (4.5 years). But my son helped pick out parts and was super excited to make new ‘faces’ out of these things when I was done with the gluing. Some of the pieces did come apart and needed re-gluing after play, so I might investigate an even stronger glue.

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Bonus—you can store the parts inside the cans. Kind of like a Mr. Robot Head thing. Have fun if you make this. Just make sure you keep small magnetic pieces away from little ones (and electronics/phones/computers!)

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