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Have you figured out what you want to be when you grow up yet? I’m a mom, so I guess it should be all figured out by now. Like any kiddo, my daughter’s dreams change on a daily basis. Some days it’s a doctor, sometimes a horse trainer and sometimes an engineer. Whatever it is, I want to be there to help her dream big and be whatever she wants to be. This is the story of her big dreams and one fun afternoon designing and building an electric tiara.
The Power of Dreaming Big
The way I look at it, you have your whole life ahead of you to be bogged down by reality checks and responsibilities, so childhood should be about exploration and dreaming big. And my favorite way to encourage it is through play. Outside in nature or inside with your favorite characters, it can be a mind opening and positive experience for kids to dream up whatever they can. I’m lucky to have two parents who encouraged me to be whatever I wanted to be and I’d love to be that supportive with my daughter. Plus, isn’t it so much fun to do a little eavesdropping on their conversations with themselves?
Last week, my girl paired everything with princess. Some of her favorite toys are her new Royal Shimmer Dolls and a colorful Ariel playscape and these became the home of her most creative conversations. I heard “But Cinderella, how will you get across the ocean to go see Ariel? Don’t worry, I will build you a boat.” She also channeled mom and played queen with a princess Ariel baby. I swear I heard Breast is Best in the background :)
And apparently, princesses get VERY sick. Because this little doctor took very good care of them. Especially Rapunzel. Because she was her twin.
The Story of the Electric Tiara
One particularly chatty day last week, the story of the electric tiara began. The conversation with my daughter went something like this:
Her: I think I want to be an engineer when I grow up. But I can’t decide. I might want to be a princess.
Me: Why can’t you be both?
Her: How would I do that?
Me: Well, what does an engineer do?
Her: They build things!
Me: And what do princesses do?
Her: Be nice and wear tiaras! (Def points for catching the be nice part!)
Me: So how can you combine those two?
Her: Let’s build a tiara!!
And since we’re a house with a bag of LEDs and batteries hanging out on the dining room table a lot, I said…
Me: “How about an electric tiara?”
It’s really a lot easier than it sounds. Simply grab some pipe cleaners (we used silver), a ton of pretty beads, one CR-2032 coin cell battery, a few LEDs and some clear tape. Make a big circle out of two pipe cleaners (this is the part that goes on her head). Then twist sections of pipe cleaner to the circle to make the vertical posts and cover them with beads. When you’ve gotten them covered with beads, twist them together to form a point. You can do this one at a time so the beads don’t fall off.
Then for the lights, we just stuck three different LEDs (two bright pink 5mm and one blue diffused 10mm LED) to the battery and then wrapped with clear tape to make the connection. You can either tape the battery / LED block to the tiara or wrap it in another pipe cleaner and twist it onto the tiara. And voila! You have an electric tiara worthy of the Electric Light Parade at Disneyland!!
[Safety note: As with all LBCB, parental supervision is recommended. Please keep coin cell batteries away from children who put non-food items in their mouth. These batteries are very dangerous if swallowed.]
Inspire Your Princess Engineer
Science, Tech, Engineering, Art, and Math Fun for KidsLooking for some more STEAM inspiration that use can use right now? Instant gratification style? Check out STEAM Kids: 50+ Hands-on Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, & Math Hands-On Projects for Kids ebook! It’s packed full of a year’s worth fun learning activities that will wow the boredom right out of your kids.
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