Did you know that you can make your own controller? What if we told you that you didn’t even need any batteries and could just grab a couple of vegetables? It’s absolutely wild and we’re going to give you a better idea of what’s possible with this unique STEM toy.

What is Makey Makey?

Makey Makey is a company that focuses on STEM toys for kids. The kit they sell comes with a controller board, alligator clips, and a USB connector. The idea is that you can make anything into a controller as long as it can conduct electricity.

Makey Makey is super easy to set up. You just have to pick various items that can conduct an electrical current. This can be other people, water, fruit, vegetables, and so much more. You connect the alligator clip to the Earth section which always needs to have a connection to you, and then connect the various buttons to the other items.

Makey Makey

Buttons of Choice Sans Water

We over at Retro Handhelds like to experiment with different things that are unique and that aren’t too difficult to set up. Examples: Andrew making a Steam Deck DS or when I turned my Steam Deck into a Wii. This one is even more simple and you can do it with your kids.

Setting It Up

For my sake, I decided to find a Mario game that would be compatible with MakeyMakey on Scratch. Scratch is a coding website that is very introductory level and is a great place for kids to practice. When you search Makey Makey, there is a huge collection of options like a piano, Flappy Bird, and so much more.

I decided to use a banana, a strawberry, and a glass container of water for my experiment. Since it is a simplified Mario game, I figured I only needed to use left, right, and up to jump. Finally, I chose a lemon to use as a ground so I could complete the circuit and use the other items as buttons.

Final Thoughts

First, I have used this so many times in the past and it still makes me smile every time I get to use it again. There is just something so fun about being able to play a game with fruits instead of a controller. It is not practical really, but it is still a fun way experience nonetheless.

I use this every year in my class year and this can be a great activity to try with your kids. It can get them excited about gaming or S.T.E.M. in general. The kits are also inexpensive and can be bought from Amazon at the link below.

Makey Makey on Amazon

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