Method 1 of 4: Creating a Homemade Makerspace Download Article
- Use a wall as a drawing area. With contact paper or self-adhesive whiteboard paper (available online or at most craft stores) and dry erase markers, a wall can be a kid-friendly drawing area.
- If you want to create a permanent drawing area, paint an area accessible to your child with chalkboard or dry erase paint.
- Include age-appropriate furniture. For a small area, a play table of approximately coffee table height would be the appropriate height for preschool age children. Consider tables with drawers or shelves for storage.
- Provide storage with easy access. It is nearly impossible to prevent playrooms/makerspaces from getting messy, but providing floor-level baskets and bins will make it easier for your preschool maker to put their things away when they are done using them. You can find storage bins at your local craft store, or office supply store, or online by googling “storage bins.”
- Provide material for creating things. Reuse items like packing boxes, construction paper, and wrapping paper.
- Provide material such as crayons, stickers, ribbon, and duct tape for decorating the kids’ creations.
- Always make sure kids have adequate supervision when they are using the makerspace.
- Set up your furniture. Try to find tables with adjustable legs to accommodate children of different ages and heights. If you plan to include power or hand tools, use furniture that is sturdy and you won’t mind being damaged. Yard sales can be a good source.
- Add plenty of storage space. A rolling storage cart can be bought online for approximately $50.00
- Find a space that you won’t mind getting messy. A corner of a basement or rec room might work well.
- Encourage your children to help in the planning. Are they interested in painting? Or sewing? Bring them along when you shop for materials and furniture.
- Gather your tools. EdSurge.com has a list of tools and materials to stock your makerspace, ranging from items from around the house to specialty tech items.
- Gather your materials. You don’t need to spend a ton of money to obtain material for your projects. You can find items at greatly reduced prices, or even for free.
Method 2 of 4: Creating a Mini Makerspace for School Age Students Download Article
- Give the students a task to solve. The teachers asked the seventh and eighth graders to repurpose old dressers. After interviewing the kindergartners, they determined how best to do a redesign of the dressers.
- Teach your students how to use the necessary tools. Some of the dressers were falling apart, and the students needed to use hammer and nails, drills, and circular saws to make the necessary repairs.
- Put the dressers on locking casters.
- Attach a pegboard for tool storage.
- Build a step stool to help students reach high tools.
- Secure a milk crate to the space, for extra storage.
- Build a handle to help transport the space.
Keep reviewing and improving the design. As the kindergartners began using the new makerspaces, it became obvious where improvements could be made. For example: Although the design included step stools, a better design would be to lower the shelves so the dressers’ counters could be used as work areas.
Method 3 of 4: Creating a Makerspace For Schools and Libraries Download Article
Involve the patrons in planning. Ask for input from your patrons from preschool to adult, and take note of comments made in passing.
- Use the materials you have available. The Reading, PA Public Library has a designated area known as the Teen Loft. When they have extra material available, they place it in a designated area for teen patrons to use however they wish.
- Ask for donations from the public. Many people have cardboard boxes, glass and plastic containers, and other material available. Encourage them to bring them to the school or library instead of throwing them away.
- Start small. One way to make the most use of limited space is to have a mobile makerspace. While there are dedicated maker carts available, you can use any type of cart and adapt it to your classroom or library needs.
Method 4 of 4: Funding a Makerspace Download Article
Apply for corporate sponsorships. Many corporations support education by making grants available. Makerspacelabs.com has a list of corporations that provide educational grants for teachers and schools.
Enlist the community. Start a fund drive for your classroom or public library. Use local public forums like your school district’s or municipal website.
- Start a crowdfunding drive. Crowdfunding is a way to raise funds online through donations from a large group of people. The Balance Small Business website has a list of reviews of the best crowdfunding platforms to suit your funding purposes.
- Make sure children have adequate supervision when using the makerspace. Thanks! Helpful 0 Not Helpful 0
- Be sure to train children thoroughly on the proper use of hand tools. Thanks! Helpful 0 Not Helpful 0
- Use proper caution when handling sharp tools and materials. Thanks! Helpful 0 Not Helpful 0
Things You’ll Need
Preschool Playroom Space
- Coffee-table height art desk
- Storage bins
- Coloring books
- Decorative items such as ribbon, stickers, duct tape
- Building items such as cardboard boxes, wrapping paper, magnetic sticks, etc.
- Chalkboard or dry-erase paint
- Chalk or dry-erase markers
- Self-adhesive chalkboard or dry-erase paper
School-Age Home Makerspace
- Art supplies such as crayons, markers, modeling clay, paint, paper, etc.
- Sewing supplies: Fabric, needles, thread, yarn, etc.
- Hand tools: Hammers, screwdrivers, saws
- Protective gear: Safety goggles, gloves, etc.
- Electronic devices such as old cellphones, computer keyboards, etc. that no longer work
- Storage for tools and materials
- Building bricks such as Legos