Here’s my shopping list this week:
- Rubber bands
- Nuts & bolts
- Golf tees
- Masking tape
- Wood glue
Why am I shopping for such an odd combination of items? I’m purchasing supplies for a maker space. In my role as Early Childhood Coordinator at Northwestern University’s Center for Talent Development, I’ve been working with my colleagues in the summer Leapfrog program to launch a new maker space for young children, ages 6 to 10.
As you may know, a maker space is an open-ended workshop equipped with a variety of materials and tools, where “makers” create projects and inventions of their own design.
So far this summer the two big lessons I’ve learned about maker spaces:
- The child is in charge. Each maker decides what he or she wants to make. The adults can make suggestions but only if a child asks for input.
- Everybody gets “do-overs.” Makers benefit each time they re-build or re-imagine their creations. We learn more from our mistakes than our successes.
Here are some great maker space resources: