Make a Misbehaving Recycled Robot

A Poetry Craft Activity

Mr. Robot Head

Getting young children excited about poetry is as simple as emptying your recycling bin!  Here’s a creative craft idea inspired by the poem “My Robot’s Misbehaving” that will capture the attention of boys and girls alike.

First, read the poem aloud to the kids.  You could also hand out a copy of the poem for them to read silently.

My Robot’s Misbehaving

My robot’s misbehaving.
It won’t do as I say.
It will not dust the furniture
or put my toys away.

My robot never helps me
with homework or my chores.
It doesn’t do my laundry
and neglects to clean my floors.

It claims it can’t cook dinner.
It never makes my bed.
No matter what I ask of it,
it simply shakes its head.

My robot must be broken.
I’ll need to get another.
Until that day, I have to say,
I’m glad I have my mother.

–Kenn Nesbitt

Then, ask them if they’d like to build their very own robot with interchangeable magnetic parts, kind of a like a Mr. Robot Head!  When they’re done squealing with excitement, take them to the table where you have all the supplies ready.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • cleaned empty tin cans, with all sharp edges removed
  • strong disk magnets or cut-up sheet magnets
  • bottle caps, screw tops, or hardware (washers, etc.)
  • steel (or plastic) scrubbing pad- for hair
  • school glue, hot glue, or heavy duty two-sided foam tape
  • pipe cleaners, puff balls, paper clips, or craft bits

Glue or tape the magnets (or magnet pieces) onto the backs of the bottle tops, hardware, and craft bits.  These will become the eyes, noses, buttons, mouths, arms and other components of the mix-up-able robot.  Two sided foam taped and hot glued parts will be ready to use right away.  If you use school glue or craft glue, allow it to dry before playing with your robotic creation!

Once the glue is dry, you can put your robot together in all kinds of different ways.  The children could even act out the poem with their very own robot buddy while you read it aloud!

Once they’ve explored the endless creative possibilities of their Mr/Miss Robot Head, have them try to write their very own  poem about a robot that got all mixed up!  You’ll find out that hands-on activities like this one help get kids excited about poetry.