This post originally appeared as a guest post over at Creative Family Fun!

Got a big pile of recycling?  Well if you do, with just a few more items, you could have amazing robots like this little guy right there.  S made him all by herself - isn't he adorable?

Let's talk materials.  You need some metal cans to start.  Next you'll need some of these small round magnets.  I got some at our local craft store, Michaels, but you can also get them at Amazon.  And finally, for added fun, you'll need various parts for the robots.  I took a trip to our hardware store and scored all the random bits and pieces for less than $2!  We also added some caps from our recycling to the robot making bits and pieces.

To encourage the creation of amazing hairstyles, I took a nail and hammered holes just big enough for pipe cleaners in various patterns on the bottoms of the cans.  Here S is designing the hairstyle of robot number one.  For added flair, you can curl or zig zag the pipe cleaners. 

To attach any metal parts, you just need to use a round magnet.  This is a great way to discuss what things are and are not magnetic.  For any of the plastic caps or googly eyes, we needed to use hot glue to attach magnets.  S dictated how many of each I made and decided which bottle caps were to receive googly eyes and which were to remain plain.

S was very deliberate with all of her choices.  I liked offering her a surplus of options to see what she would come up with - I also felt like this would also allow for several very different looking permutations of robots.

S was kind enough to share *some* of the supplies with me and I was allowed to make ONE (but just one) robot.  Here she is making a goober face with him.  :)  I like his mustache.

These four guys were all S's work!  Isn't that amazing?  I love how each has its own style and personality!  When not in use, we store the cans and all the necessary parts in a bin that is always available to S.  Because the round magnets are very dangerous to babies and toddlers if ingested, the storage container has locking handles and S is only allowed to play with these guys at the dining room table.  

She loves bringing them out and creating all sorts of crazy weird robots.  They're like a really fun and easy DIY version of Mr. Potato Head!

If you liked these guys, be sure to check out our Life-Sized Recycled Robot!

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All activities here are activities I feel are safe for my own children.  As your child's parents/guardians, you will need to decide what you feel is safe for your family.  I always encourage contacting your child's pediatrician for guidance if you are not sure about the safety/age appropriateness of an activity. All activities on this blog are intended to be performed with adult supervision.  Appropriate and reasonable caution should be used when activities call for the use of materials that could potentially be harmful, such as scissors, or items that could present a choking risk (small items), or a drowning risk (water activities), and with introducing a new food/ingredient to a child (allergies).  Observe caution and safety at all times.  The author and blog disclaim liability for any damage, mishap, or injury that may occur from engaging in any of these activities on this blog.


  1. These are adorable, Asia. I just popped over to Terri's site to check them all out. I love them! I'm a huge fan of recycled crafting, so I'll be pinning these for a future project for the hooligans! Thanks for sharing them over on my page again. They showed up this time. :)

    1. Oh, thank you so much for stopping by to comment, Jackie! I'm so glad I was finally able to share them. And thank you so much for pinning!!! It always helps me so much! :)

  2. These are pretty awesome, to say the least. This would be great for a STEAM program at a library. Thanks!

    1. Thank you, LibraryBonanza! That's such a great idea! I love it!!!!!

  3. AWESOME! I have a huge collection of those twist off squeeze pack caps. We are planning to use them with playdoh in my preschool class this year, but this little idea will knock the socks off my kiddos! So creative, cute and best of all it uses recycled materials which are my all time favorite craft/play items. Thanks for sharing!

    1. Sweet! So glad, Scooterd! We are swimming in squeeze pack caps, so always looking for fun ways to use them - love the idea to use them in Playdough!!!

  4. I am the site supervisor for an after school program at school. I'm sure these will be a great hit with all ages. Children can take home their materials and create their own robots at home.


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