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Project challenge:

materials monster

Suggested Ages: K – 5th Grades

Create a monster that can hold your drawing tools and other materials! You’ll need to BE VISIONARY by imagining how to use cutting and folding techniques to bring your one-of-a-kind Materials Monster to life.

Engaging Design-It-Yourself projects to inspire young innovators

This is no ordinary DIY project for kids: It’s a step toward becoming an innovator.


Every Galileo Design-It-Yourself Challenge teaches the same techniques and mindsets that professional designers an engineers, artists and chefs use in their work. With skills like these, we believe you can change the world.

Get Involved—For Grown Ups

Materials list:

Help your child find these materials or a close substitute: 


  • Toilet paper tube
  • 2 or more pieces of paper (preferably colored paper)
  • 1 paper towel
  • Glue
  • 2 coins or other small weighted objects like washers
  • Tape
  • Scissors
  • Coloring tools, like markers or crayons


Activity GUIDE:

Refer to these steps to keep young innovators on track as they create:


1. Criss cross tape over one end of the toilet paper tube so that it is sealed off. (0:44)


2. Cut a strip of paper that is the right size to cover the toilet paper tube. (0:55)


3. Decorate the paper with designs for your monster’s skin. (1:08)


4. Wrap the tube with the decorated paper. (1:13)


5. Place a weight into the bottom of the tube. (1:32)


6. Put materials into the tube and adjust their height with a crumpled paper towel. (1:40)


7. Cut out shapes for the monster’s head and other appendages. (1:51)

  • Support being visionary—If kids are stuck, encourage them to experiment with different cutting and folding techniques to come up with unique parts to add.
  • Ask: How could you use symmetrical cutting and folding to create a part for the monster?
  • Ask: What shape(s) could you cut out for the monster’s head/eyes/feet?
  • Ask: How else can you fold and cut the paper to add more parts/texture to your monster?


More Ideas:

Every project presents opportunities to add your own twists or extensions. Here are some ideas to get you started:


  • Innovate On! Try making a materials animal! Decorate the tube and cut out parts to make it look like your favorite animal.
  • Try making a materials monster out of a different recycled object such as a deli container or a tin can!


Wrap Up Questions:

Lock in the learning by asking your child these questions about their project and how they practiced the featured Innovator’s Mindset element: 


  • What part of your monster or making your monster are you most proud of? Why?
  • How were you visionary while making your monster? What are some unique monster parts or cutting/folding techniques that you came up with?


Great learning can come from sharing successes and failures—to solidify your own experience as an innovator and to inspire others.


SHARE WITH galileo


Share a photo or video of your creation with the Camp Galileo Anywhere Facebook Community.


Share with family and friends


Your innovation doesn’t stop with you. Inspire someone else by sharing your project challenge—maybe they’ll try it themselves or maybe your project will give them a new idea.


  • Who: someone in your house, a family member, a friend
  • How: in person, on the phone, online
  • When: anytime, starting now!