Toy Dissections and Temporary Tattoos - WICO Summer 2.1

We started the second session of our playful programming summer camp with wind up toy dissection, journal making and experimenting with beetleblocks to create geometric designs for stickers and tattoos. As always, with a new group of campers and facilitators eager to try new experiments, the activities went in a lot of new and interesting directions.

The toy take apart started conventionally with the parts purposes and complexities thinking routine introduced to help the group keep track of their initial ideas and later discoveries when they started taking apart their toy.

For some reason the toys that people picked were a little more stubborn to open up so we had to experiment with more than just the small phillips head screwdriver to get them open. Different toys requires flat heads to pry apart plastic, snips, pliers and mini saws.


This week we took more time for the remixing and introduced a few different directions. One was to create physical Todd McClellan inspired arrangements of the physical toy parts on cardboard backing.

Others got into the increased emphasis on cardboard and made some really innovative creations. A couple of my favorites were the mini wrecking ball and a little automata-esque cotton candy stand.

It was really great to see all of the amazing mash-ups and remixes with the simple addition of hot glue, cardboard and craft materials to the toy mechanisms.

For the afternoon the focus on design continued with experiments with beetleblocks and creating cardboard covered journals to write notes and reflections all week.

The journals we’re really awesome this time and I think the creativity from the morning activity seemed to carry over to the way campers added moving parts, LEDs and other interesting decorations to their covers.

For the beetleblocks we started by verbally programming Justin to walk and turn using a circular protractor. This got the group familiar with the movement of the beetle so when they started creating code they could quickly make complex designs.


We sent the files to the vinyl cutter to make stickers and the 2D printer to make regular stickers on shipping label paper as well as temporary tattoos. Because we have a bit of a smaller group this week, many more people got a tangible result from their code which helps to build the connection between the physical and digital process!