The Maker Station: A dedicated area devoted to creative exploration and DIY projects.

The most popular center in ‘tinker hollow’ has become the ‘maker station’.  It is so much fun to set up and works indoors or in a covered outdoor area. At the maker station the children are free to create, design, tinker and build anything that their imaginations lead them to.  First we go shopping in the tinkering garbage bins for ‘loose parts’ and all kinds of interesting recycled items.  This past week we talked about using ‘a base’ as a starting point for their creations.  However, many children went right for the interesting assortment of small boxes and containers we have been collecting.    Your children are our future engineers, architects, inventors, designers and creators.  Our maker station creates and honors the idea that your children are already ‘makers’.Starting with a very large base.  We collected smaller boxes, buttons and lots of tape to create a design.  Although I try to take candid pictures of the children,  she was so super proud of her creation that it required a pose.She knew exactly which pieces she wanted to take from the bins.  I assisted her as she made a design with the Washi tape.  It was challenging to peel and cut the tape. We talked about the role of an assistant.  As teachers, we try hard to make sure that the children take ownership of their projects, but often they need ‘assistance’ with fine details, and oh how they loved the idea that we were their assistants’.She knew it was going to be both functional and ‘art’.  We had read the book:

The Most Magnificent Thing by Ashley Spires, and we talked about how difficult it is to make something magnificent.As children mature they are able to appreciate and participate in creating work that is not finished in one session.  Miss. Jacque had a great idea to set up a staging area called:  Work in Progress.  When the children return to tinkering they can choose to continue working on their projects.He was completely immersed in his creation.  I would not dare even ask to assist him.  This was one of those moments as a teacher that you just step back and breathe.  So beautiful was his concentration  and intention.Some supplies you might want to add to your homemaker station:

  • Masking tape and if you feel like splurging: washi tape (above to the right)
  • Boxes cut into pieces to use as bases
  • Start collecting small make up and cosmetic boxes
  • Interesting plastic wrapping
  • Egg cartons, lids, a variety of shapes and sizes of any containers
  • Markers
  • Scissors
  • Glue
  • Stickers
  • Gems and old buttons
  • Ribbon and wrapping paper
  • Use a cupcake tin store all these treasures and add and delete items
  • String
  • Scrap fabrics
  • googly craft eyes
  • Tin foil
  • Bubble wrap
  • Golf tees

Please continue to send lots of smallish boxes and containers to school for the tinkering center. Leftover wrapping paper from the holidays, pretty much anything that you think that maybe it could be turned into something else, we will find a way to use it, or take it apart and examine it.

Thank you from tinkering!

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