Our Code-a-Key Backpack (an adapter for the BBC micro:bit) is BACK IN STOCK at the Makey Shop!

First Time Set Up! Banana Piano!

This is our original how-to!

First Time Set Up

Plug in USB

The small side of USB cable plugs into Makey Makey, and the big side plugs into computer.



Close Pop Up Windows

Your computer may ask you to install drivers or do other setup. You can click cancel or close the window.



Connect to EARTH

Connect one end of an alligator clip to "Earth" on the bottom of the front side of Makey Makey.

Hold the metal part of the other end of the alligator clip between your fingers. You are now "grounded." 

Connect to "Space" and Try It

While you're still grounded, touch the round "Space" pad on the Makey Makey. You should see a green light on the Makey Makey, and your computer will think the space bar was pressed.

Play Some Music

Try out a banana piano , play some bongos, or try our new sampler app!  


Try Out Everyday Stuff with our new apps!

Make anything into a key! You can make a connection through anything that's even a little bit conductive. You can also create inventions that combine conductive and non-conductive parts.

Conductive Materials (Check out this post on conductive stuff!)

Here are a few things to try:

  • Most fruits and vegetables work great.
  • Lots of other foods work too. We've tried marshmallows, gummy candies, macaroni and cheese, cupcakes, shrimp, and lots of other things.
  • Plants can work too. Try some leaves or flowers, but nothing too dry.
  • Play-Doh, Model Magic and other clays work very well as long as they stay moist.
  • People are conductive! Connect one person to ground, and another to an input, and you can trigger sounds when they high-five.
  • Graphite from a pencil can work. Make thick, dark lines, and be sure to draw on a smooth surface.
  • Foil and other metal objects will work. Try out coins, magnets, nuts and bolts, forks and knives, or pots and pans.

Craft Materials

When you're inventing, anything goes! Here are a few things we have enjoyed using:

Inflatable beach balls, paper plates, cardboard boxes, various types of soft and rigid foam, lego bricks, plastic storage boxes, stuffed animals and other toys, funny hats and other pieces of clothing, sheets of fabric, string, yarn, elastic, and paper.

It's also important to have around some tools for cutting, like scissors and exacto knives, and ways to stick things together, like hot glue, superglue, various kinds of tape, and clips or clamps.



Experiment with What is Conductive?

Check out other Apps and Scratch!

This guide has a ton of cool apps to try. Anything that uses a key press you can now control with your Makey Makey digital duct tape!

Take our online classes!

We have tons of free project ideas and even free classes on our how-to page!


Draw Your Own Playable Instrument


I can't get a key to press!

  • Make sure your Makey Makey is plugged into the computer.
  • The Makey Makey should have a red light on the back showing that the power is on. Is it lit? If not something is wrong with the computer, the USB cable, or the circuit board.
  • Try making a connection in the simplest way you can. One way is to connect an alligator clip to "earth" and then touch other end to "space."
  • When you make a connection, you should see an LED light up on the front of the Makey Makey
  • When you are making a connection using everyday materials they need to be at least a little bit conductive. For example, play-doh, a banana, your skin, or aluminum foil should work, but plastic, most fabrics or paper will not work directly. You can always combine materials, for example by wetting the paper or putting play-doh onto the plastic.


One of the keys won't stop pressing over and over! What should I do?

  • Try unplugging the Makey Makey from your computer, then plug it back in again
  • Disconnect all of you alligator clips from the Makey Makey, then start reattaching them one by one
  • If your stuck key is still pressing, have a look at your connections. They might be touching accidentally somehow. Try taking things apart and putting them back together again.
  • Perhaps one of the things that you are using as an insulator (or non-conductor) isn't insulating enough. Try using a different material.
  • If one of the objects connected to the Makey Makey is your own body, then perhaps you are "grounded" to the earth via touching your computer's metal case, or by not wearing shoes. Take a step back and see what you are touching.
  • Perhaps one of the objects connected to the Makey Makey that you think is well insulated is not. For example, if you connect a banana to your Makey Makey and it's sitting on a wooden cutting board, is that cutting board moist or dry? If it's moist then perhaps all of your bananas on the cutting board are connected to each other through the cutting board. Try a dry table instead.
  • Is it raining? Is it extremely humid- are you in a rainforest? This can sometimes cause porous materials, such as paper or clothing, to become conductive.


It works sometimes, but not other times. : (

  • Your materials might not be conductive enough. For example, if you are making a connection with your fingertip, it can help to moisten your skin by licking it.
  • If you are using a drawn graphite line from a pencil, make sure the line is heavy and dark. Draw your line on a hard smooth surface, such as a table without any grain in it. Take care in folding the paper, because it can sometimes break the graphite connection. Once you are expert at drawing the lines, you don't have to follow any rules, but if you can't get it to work try the tips mentioned.


Time Investment
30 min
Pre-K - 12+


  • Makey Makey


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