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An interesting way to learn and grow--Make a "Maker"

Makers are people who utilize problem solving to create a product. Makers use their hands/technology to create something new. App developers, website creators, crafters, woodworkers, and designers, etc. are all examples of makers. Kids can be makers, too.

In the classroom, this is called kinesthetic learning opportunities. When kids are able to explore new materials or new problems to create a solution, they have a deeper meaning of the concepts. Allowing children to think critically about a problem allows them to take risks, play with their solutions, and trust themselves. Kinesthetic learning allows children to build confidence with collaboration and gain the ability to think though the solutions available. The skills provided also mimic those of an entrepreneur or an engineer and help children solve real world problems with ease.

How do I help raise a "maker"?

Kids love to play with toys, create art, and work well with imaginative play. Kids innately are already "makers" in the making. Your job as a parent or guardian is to harness their creativity. Allow your children to help solve everyday problems. For example, if you are taking groceries into your house and have way too many things for one trip, allow your child to think of a possible solutions (use a sled/skateboard to bring materials in, use a carabiner, pile objects in a specific way, etc.) and if available they can experiment to find the best solution.

At home activities for your maker

The easiest maker activity you can do with your child is to cook or bake with them. Cooking/baking provides math practice (measurement, fractions, addition, multiplication, etc.), reading practice, and also experimentation with materials (what object works best to mix, how about to flip, would butter substitute for oil, if the meal is too bland what should I add, etc.).

Another activity, and probably the cheapest to do with your child at home, is to create art such as turn markers into watercolors (just add water), color a picture only using the primary colors, or using cut up materials to make a new picture.

A third activity that you can do with your child is to create a paper airplane. After you create the paper airplane, brainstorm ways of how to make it fly higher, faster, or do tricks. Have your child experiment with altering the original airplane to make it better or create new ones to compare their alterations.

If you are interested in more complex maker activities, check the following websites out:

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