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Saturday 3 June 2017

Maker Faire 2017

A few weekends back we spent a day at one of my favorite festivals: Maker Faire.

As always, the day was filled with all sorts of creative fun. The girls made art from salvaged junk, rode crazy bikes, made replica cells out of foam clay, dressed up as robots, ate delicious treats, and watched all sorts of crazy things shoot flames.

As always, it was pretty hot when we arrived at Maker Faire, so this year we headed straight inside one of the halls full of fun hands-on activities and demonstrations to escape the heat. There were all sorts of activities to keep the girls busy.

The first activity for Ava and Lola was making replicas of cells with foam clay. Mathilde had fallen asleep pretty much as soon as we entered the cool hall so Ava and Lola were keen to work on a big kid activity while she slept. They carefully followed the instructions given to them and molded the replica protons, neurons and atoms into colorful cells. We then left these to dry out for a week at home and cut them in half to reveal an amazing sight inside.

From there we moved onto making art out of salvaged items. Mathilde had now woken and was happy to get to work with her big sisters. The girls had so much fun creating their masterpieces. They worked with real hammers, nails, screwdrivers, and wire cutters - and some how didn't hurt themselves! They were pretty proud of how their art turned out.

There were plenty of opportunities to play with robots inside the hall - and even a chance to dress up as one! Mathilde desperately wanted to take home the cute pink robot below. She may just have to wait a few years before she will be old enough for a programmable robot like that! In the mean time, dressing up in a cardboard robot costume was much more age appropriate. The girls took it in turns dressing up in the robot costume. We even brought home a copy of the book that the costume came from so we can make our own.

After quite some time spent indoors we were ready to head outside. We found the cardboard robot arms that the girls have loved in previous years right outside (and in a shaded grassy area) so we headed straight there for more cardboard robot fun.

Being a hot day we couldn't go past an icy treat from a food truck. Mathilde was excited to try a chocolate covered frozen banana (so good) but she was a little unsure about it at first because, in her words, "It looks like a poop on a stick"! Oh, toddlers... they don't hold back, do they? Once she stopped laughing at her own "poop on a stick" comment Mathilde discovered that chocolate covered frozen bananas are damn tasty - no matter what they look like!

After our cold treats we checked out a few crazy vehicles including this one with a dog (?) on the front of it.

Next up the girls tried out the scooter powered giant spirograph and contributed to the fun chalk patterns on the ground. This reminded me that we actually have one of the chalk adapters that you can see on the back of the scooter packed away in a closet at home. We'll have to get it out to create a little scooter art over the Summer!

After riding the spirograph scooter the girls were keen to head to the bike rodeo area where they knew there would be lots of crazy bikes to ride - or attempt to ride. Along the way we spotted some fun sculptures including a flaming heart, a squid with movable tentacles and a dragonfly on wheels.

We also stopped for a quick musical interlude at this crazy creation.

And then it was onto the bikes, which are always a hit with the kids. Lola and Mathilde were still too small to ride most of the bikes, but they did enjoy riding on the bike carousel. Mathilde couldn't reach the pedals on her bike, so Lola found herself doing most of the work. She didn't seem to mind. They also took turns in being the passenger on a few other bikes and scooters as Kim, Ava and I rode them around. Ava was excited to ride the rather scary looking bike ferris wheel again like last year. She was lucky she got in line when she did as she actually ended up being the last person to ride it for the day.

We then moved onto a more tame bike, and one that reminded us of our recent trip to Copenhagen. The Frankentrike was similar to the Christiania bike that Kim rode with Lola and Mathilde in Copenhagen except that the front box was large enough to fit Ava and I as well, and there was electric assist so Kim didn't have to put in much pedal power to keep us moving.

We missed seeing the popular giant Mousetrap game in action this year, but the kids were still keen to check it out as we rode past in the Frankentrike all the same. Such a crazy set up!

Our day at Maker Faire was coming to an end but there were still a few things to see as we made our way to the exit, including a glass blowing exhibit with flames shooting out the top, a shark motorbike, a psychedelic cat car, a dragon vehicle, and a chicken car. You know, just regular everyday stuff!

We had such a great time at Maker Faire again this year, and like always the day flew by so fast that we didn't get to see as much as we would have liked. It really is such a huge event that you need two days to see it all. Maybe next year we'll stay down at San Mateo and attend Maker Faire over two days.

For more information about Maker Faire and upcoming events visit www.makerfaire.com


On a side note, you've probably noticed the bandages on Ava's forearms in the photos in this post. Two days earlier she had been taking a pizza out of the oven and the oven tray slipped after she put it down on the stove top and it fell across her arms. She suffered second degree and first degree burns across both forearms and spent a week wearing bandages, with doctor visits every second day. While it was very painful, she was such a trooper during that time and was keen to continue her regular activities (apart from swimming). I'm pleased to say that two and a bit weeks down the track her arms have healed surprisingly well and they are no longer painful. Her burn wounds are shrinking every day and within no time I'm sure they'll be almost invisible. Her doctor thinks she will have only very minimal scarring if any at all. It has definitely been a kitchen safety wake up call for us all.

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