Halloween – Time for spooky electronics

My “Introduction to Electronics” workshop gets a Halloween Themed make over for Johnson County Library’s Maker Space.


I put a lot of thought into the design of my kits so that the smallest hands can make them independently.  So I use a strong visual method in all my designs.

Here I am constructing the kits on my workbench in my home Maker Space.  Cutting wires to length, stripping wires, soldering boards and leads.

IMG_8987My basic LED Flasher circuit is adapted to blink the eyes of the pumpkin.  Other versions of this project include a railway crossing sign, Christmas ornament and Valentine card.

I cut out and paint the pumpkin shapes, but leave the final decoration to the kids.  The kids get to draw on the faces and no two ever turn out alike.  All my projects allow kids to put on their own personal touches.

IMG_8994On build days my manufacturing process spills out of my small home Maker Space.  But the extra space keeps things organized and the kits part count accurate.

Here I lay out parts for 12 kits all in a row so I can see whats next and if I missed anything.  This large table gets used for all my kit builds.

And here are the kits bagged individually to pass out IMG_8995 to the kids at the Maker Space workshop.

I plan to develop an instruction manual and packaging for this kit and make it available for sell.  As to date the project has been available only as a group workshop.


Maker Workshops @ the Library

Over the next two months I will be volunteering at my local library, running Build a Birdhouse project for kids 5-15.  They are offered free by the library but space is limited and spots fill up fast.  Check the library calendar for the next scheduled workshop.

But before I run the workshop there is allot of work prepairing the kits so that even the smallest hands can build it independently.

The weather has been great to make my kits.  Here I am cutting out the different pieces that will make the birdhouses.

There are also hundreds of holes to drill.  But this great old drill press is up to the task.

I need allot of space on kit manufacturing days.  Here the pieces take over the driveway as I label each pice so kids can follow how to put their birdhouse together correctly.

Today 13 kids built my kits under my leadership.  There was a lot of work preparing, setting up and cleaning up after a workshop.  But working with the kids during the building phase is a blast.  They catch on fast and are hammering like pros by the end of the day.   

Check out my last post for pictures of my workshops over the years.  Projects include birdhouses, birdfeeders, planters, crystal radios, Morse code, desk organizers and tool boxes.

Kids Make Workshop Series – Tool Box


Today, Thursday June 19, 2014, I am running my “Build A Project Box”  workshop at the Central Library for 17 kids aged 5-15.

Workshop Includes:

  • Precut/Drilled Wooden Pieces
  • Hammers & Nails
  • Glue & Sandpaper
  • Paint & Brushes
  • Step By Step Leadership
  • Safety Instructions
  • Personalized Certificate

The Hands-On approach to the Project Box Kit encourages kids to be skilful and creative. Assemble the kit, then decorate the box with your favourite colours and designs. Use the Tool Box for your future projects.