Solar Cockroaches, Water Rockets, and Pinhole Eyeglasses

Image by Instructables

Here are a few of the many fun summer projects to be found at website.

If you’re bored and want something fun to do for a couple hours, the website has a ton of fun summer projects you can browse and try. Here are number of projects which might be fun to try and create.

First, definitely pay attention to one detail on their site, however. Each project has a main page with a somewhat hidden link to all the step by step instruction pages. Be sure to find the Steps button directly under the project title, next to the Download button.


The links at the bottom of the article also include search results for solar, pinhole camera, and other Instructables projects you might find fun and amusing. These all make great summer projects.

Pinhole Eyeglasses

This is the easiest place to start, and a good way to introduce a whole set of Instructables projects with pinhole cameras. You need glass frames, aluminum foil, and a pin.

Solar Cockroach v2.0

Made with a simple battery and small vibrating motor, this is both cute and creepy. Perhaps your friends will want one, too.

$3 Emergency Solar Radio

This project takes about an hour and gives you a simple radio you can use in emergencies like an earthquake or zombie apocalypse (assuming zombies haven’t eaten everybody at the radio station).

Digital Yahtzee

You have to have Excel spreadsheet software on your computer, and be willing to do light coding (with their instructions). But this is an interesting mix of game, software, and light coding.

Electric Cigar Box Guitar with Built-in Amp

If you don’t know, lots of people used to make guitars from cheap throw away items like cigar boxes, with steel strings from screen doors and other places. This project is more modern, and includes electricity, but you could adapt it easily if you want a non-electric guitar. Also note this is one of the more complicated projects. However, it might be fun to build your own hand made guitar.

Rubber Band Harmonica

If you don’t have the parts or money for a cigar box electric guitar, or you’re lazy, this is an easier way to get a musical instrument to play.

Water Rocket Launcher

This looks like a family or small group activity although one person could do everything with enough time. You’ll need a 32 ounce water bottle, PVC pipe, and other items, plus time and patience. But you can get wet and the rocket does launch.

Learn More


Instructables Solar Projects

Instructables Pinhole Cameras

Brown Dog Gadgets

Two projects (Solar Radio, Cockroach v2.0) from the person who runs this website with more projects, parts, and guides.

Pinhole Eyeglasses

Solar Cockroach V2.0

$3 Emergency Solar Radio

Electric Cigar Box Guitar with Built-in Amp

Digital Yahtzee

Rubber Band Harmonica

Water Rocket Launcher


  • Tim Slavin

    Tim is an award-winning writer and technologist who enjoys teaching tech to non-technical people. He has many years experience with web sites and applications in business, technical, and creative roles. He and his wife have two kids, now teenagers, who are mad about video games.

Also In The June 2015 Issue

Automate the Boring Stuff with Python

This book helps average non-technical people free themselves from mundane computer tasks.

Solar Cockroaches, Water Rockets, and Pinhole Eyeglasses

Here are a few of the many fun summer projects at website.

Bitsbox: Monthly Coding Projects in the Mail

Every month the Bitsbox service delivers a colorful booklet full of fun coding projects for kids to do then share with friends and family.

Simple and Fun 3D Models to Print

Here are a number of simple and fun 3D models to print.

FUZE Computer Teaches Kids to Code

The FUZE computer is a 1980s computer design with the brain of a modern Raspberry Pi. It's ideal for teaching kids to code plus build electronics projects.

An Interview with Paul Chayka

Paul Chayka talks about Robotics And Beyond, an after school tech program that teaches coding, robotics, circuit design, and much more.

Teach Your Kids to Code

Learning Python is a fun way to spend time and learn programming together.

Kano Computers

The Kano computer is a Raspberry Pi computer with a spiffy installation process (and user manual) and a carefully thought out online experience.

Functions and Procedures

An introduction to programming functions and procedures using pen and paper instead of code. Includes lots of examples and exercises.


Ruby is a highly flexible programming language used in many large scale online applications at Twitter, Kickstarter, and other companies.

June 2015 Learn More Links

Links from the bottom of all the June 2015 articles, collected in one place for you to print, share, or bookmark.

Any fool can write code that a computer can understand. Good programmers write code that humans can understand.

June 2015 News Wire

News and project stories about kids, coding, computer science, and how we use technology in our daily lives.

Create Art with the Paper App + Mix

The Mix community lets you find and share artwork to create projects with free Paper software.

Interested but not ready to subscribe? Sign-up for our free monthly email newsletter with curated site content and a new issue email announcement that we send every two months.

No, thanks!