A makerspace is a collaborative area that includes materials and tools that can be used to build, tinker and invent. Makerspaces are popping up in schools and libraries all over the world that include different combinations of low tech and high tech equipment. However, you don't need to go anywhere, have any special training or spend a lot of money to access a makerspace. Create a makerspace of your own at home by collecting old scraps around the house, broken toy parts, dollar store craft supplies and simple tools such as scissors, tape and glue. Having a makerspace makes it easy and fun to make projects with your kids and grandchildren that will build memories for years to come.
All you need to create a makerspace is a dedicated area where you can store the supplies with enough space for doing the building. Or you can create a portable makerspace using an old suitcase or storage bin that can be brought out when its project time! I have tried both types and actually prefer the portable type. The pictures below are the makerspaces that I have had at my house.
Examples of scraps and trash from around the house to include in the makerspace are:
-clear plastic ketchup, condiment, pickle bottles cleaned with labels removed
-paper towel, toilet paper, wrapping paper cardboard roles
-old costume jewelry
-old board game pieces
-tic tac or other candy plastic packaging
-old tubes and pipes
Also, include fun craft supplies that you can get from any craft store, dollar store or Amazon:
-LED tea lights
-sheets of foam, felt
-Crayola Model Magic clay
Once you have your makerspace ready it's time for building. You can give kids a theme to work from (i.e. build a car, make an animal, etc) or you can just let them create whatever they want. You can also read one of the "Li'l Booger Buddies Inventors" books first as inspiration which are about little green aliens who build inventions out of space junk. The books are light hearted, fun and introduce basic engineering concepts.
Below are some examples of favorite projects from our makerspace.
Llama sock puppet: old sock, cardboard tube, pillow stuffing, pipe cleaner, fake flowers, googly eyes, markers
Stuffed animals: old t-shirt or felt sheets, yarn, pillow stuffing, google eyes, markers
Paper roll guy: paper towel cardboard roll, toilet paper cardboard roll, yarn, tape, markers. googly eyes
Plastic bottle night lights: clear condiment plastic bottes, LED tea lights (glued to top of bottes), translucent paint, googly eyes, various craft decorative materials
Li'l Booger Buddies Inventors characters and their Booger Blaster Spaceship: Crayola Model Magic Clay, paint, cardboard (for wings), plastic shell (inside the cavity of spacship)
Sushi roll night light: foam tube, tea light, googly eyes, pipe cleaner, fake flowers
Warrior costume (mask, sword and shield): old car retractable sunshade (for mask), cardboard, pipe cleaners, wrapping paper cardboard roll, tape
Chuck E Cheese for toy figurines: old car, water bottle, plastic bottle, paper towel roll, shoes boxes, etc