September 2017

It’s back to school time!  What better time to take the plunge and start a MakerSpace? Here are some quick, easy and inexpensive ways to start or add onto your MakerSpace.

Here’s what’s on deck this month:

  1. Paperclip Bookmarks:  I wanted to start the year with something that all the kids could make, used only a few supplies and would be useful for all my students.  Also, despite that fact that I love all this MakerSpace fun, I’m still a librarian at heart who loves books and reading.  So, why not combine the two?  I searched easy bookmark ideas and found these great paperclip bookmark ideas!
    • Option #1: Funny Face Bookmarks from Dollar Store Crafts
      • You need:
        • large paper clips
        • yarn
        • Google eyes (Optional as I think they are cute with just the yarn, too.)
        • Directions Sheetpaperclips
    • Option #2: Duct Tape Bookmarks from Craftionary
      • You need:
        • large paperclips
        • duct tapebookmarks.jpg
    • Option #3: Button Bookmarks from iheartnaptime
      • This one’s a bit trickier as it involves glue or hot glue gun.  Choose this if you have an adult volunteer or for older students.
      • You need:
        • large paperclip
        • buttons
        • small pieces of felt
        • hot glue gun or glue
        • Direction Sheetbuttons.jpg
      • Idea: The kids really liked being creative with these, but it was a little difficult for some of the younger kids as their hands were just a bit too small for some of the gluing and strings.
      • Idea: The string paperclips only needed three strands if you are using regular stitching yarn.  It also makes it easier using only 3 strands.
  2. Building with Straws Challenge: This idea came from a fun blog called Lemon Lime Adventures.  Its an easy and inexpensive way for your kids to build and interact with engineering principals without even knowing it.  The best part? All you need are straws and tape! Click here to download a direction sheet.
    • Step 1: Make your tower.
      • You need:
        • You only get 10 straws and tape.
        • Create a tower using ONLY the straws and tape.
    • Step 2: Rules
      • Use a normal speaking voice.
      • Only use 10 straws.
      • The tower must be able to stand up all by itself without being held, taped to the table, wedged between tables, leaning up against something, etc.
    • Step 3: Go for it!
      • After you have made your tower, use the ruler or yardstick to measure how tall your tower is.  Record your name and tower height on the Straw Tower Challenge Log Sheet.

        – Idea: Students did really enjoy making the structures, but it did require more time than many students had when they visit the MakerSpace.  Most students only have a 10-15 minutes window to visit during they day and that wasn’t enough time to process, build and then redesign as needed.  My students that come in the morning for 30 minutes had more success.  This would perhaps be a better activity for a lesson with a whole class divided into small groups.

  3. To Explore: Lincoln Logs
    • I was lucky enough to have a family donate a bin of Lincoln Logs and since the challenge this month is to build with straws, I decided to keep the building theme and put these out.  I’m looking forward to seeing what the kids create.

lincoln logs

Looking forward to sharing pictures and thoughts about these start of the year activities once school starts!  See you in October!


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