DIY Robot Hand STEAM Activity

DIY Robot Hand STEAM Activity

Spark students' imaginations by creating DIY Robot Hands from paper, straws, and string with this hands-on learning activity from Simple STEAM. Children will hone their engineering and creative thinking skills in this fun STEAM activity!

What is a DIY Robot Hand?

The DIY Robot Hand is a simple and inventive engineering activity that will teach children all about the world of robotics! With just three common items—straws, paper, and string—students can create a moving, bendable hand. This activity encourages exploration of robotics, engineering, and creative thinking, making it an ideal STEAM activity for students.

How does this activity tie in with STEAM learning?

The DIY Robot Hand STEAM Activity is a perfect example of the interconnectedness of arts and technology. Not only does this activity encourage engineering exploration and scientific inquiry about robotic technology, but it also requires students to think creatively about designing and building their own robotic hand.

Why is it important to focus on STEAM learning in early childhood education?

It's important to encourage student involvement in both arts and technology. The DIY Robot Hand STEAM Activity combines the best aspects of both fields by having students design and create an engineering marvel. Artistry and design are pivotal to the development of scientific technology, especially in the field of robotics. Including art in STEM fields creates a more approachable and dynamic view of the technology sector.

How can teachers include this activity in the classroom as part of a lesson?

The DIY Robot Hand STEAM Activity encourages students to think about how the human body functions, robotic technology in the real world, and elements of design. It incorporates elements of STEM and art for a dynamic and entertaining learning opportunity.

Download our FREE printable below!

 Robot Hand

Required Materials:

1Make the Robot Hand

Trace hand (adult hand recommended for larger size) onto card stock. Cut hand outline out with scissors. Place hand back onto paper hand to mark location of joints. Fold the paper hand at the marked joint locations.

2Add the Straws

Cut the standard straws into ¼", ½", 1", and 2 ¼" sizes. Tape standard straws onto hand, and tape the jumbo straw onto the wrist.

3Add the Yarn

Using a different yarn color for each finger, cut five strands of yarn into 2-foot-long pieces. Be sure to knot one end of each piece of yarn. Thread one yarn strand through each finger. Use a different yarn color for each finger. Have all colors meet at the wrist.

4Play and Experiment!

Pull on the strings individually and in combination to explore the wonder of robotic hands!


Include the DIY Robot Hand STEAM Activity into your classroom to provide a creative STEAM activity that encourages students to participate in scientific inquiry and artistic expression. Be sure to browse our list of STEM and STEAM products, resources, and professional development.