Do you know how MAKESHOP started? It didn’t just open it’s doors and look like the way it does now. The road to MAKESHOP is a long story itself, but I bring up history to raise an important question: If you don’t happen to have a museum, where do you make things? Let’s talk about making at home.
What do you need to start? In MAKESHOP we have staff, tools, materials, furniture and lots of curious minds. Take a moment to realize that you have the very same things at home — yourself, at least a few tools, recyclable materials, and probably you know someone who wants to make things. So you have the elements, but what to do with them? I have some ideas:
Start with 7 Cornerstones of Making with Kids, by Jennifer Turliuk and Andy Forest of MakerKids, an organization in Toronto that shares many of MAKESHOP’s values. There are plenty of great places to find step-by-step instructions for how to make something, but this list explains why, for instance, putting the process of making above the end result keeps kids interested.
If you’re beyond the stage of thinking making sounds like fun and are ready to try to dedicate some space at home, take a look at Tinkerlab: A Hands-On Guide for Little Inventors by Rachelle Doorley (we also have a copy in MAKESHOP if you want to take a look next time you visit). Ms. Doorley does a great job thinking through and explaining how she made a makerspace in her house by clearing clutter, organizing tools and materials, setting it up in an encouraging way, and being at peace with messes. She also provides lots of lists of basics if you need that, and some suggested step-by-step projects to get started.
Let’s hear about your maker spaces at home. What are your questions? What are your needs? What have you made?