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Maker Mondays

Sarah Applegate
Sarah Applegate

by Sarah Applegate
Currently Reading:
The Nightmare Charade
by Mindee Arnett

I recently took on a full-time youth services position within my library and now find myself having to plan programs for birth to teen. Preschool and teen programming is easy for me. I’ve been doing the teen programs for the last year at my library and have done storytimes previously. It was the 6-12 year olds that gave me pause. What do elementary age kids do anymore? Do they still like board games? What about crafts? So I turned to the most obvious resource at my disposal – Pinterest.

Ah, the power of Pinterest. I quickly found myself immersed in more ideas than I could handle. As I was researching, I kept coming across different versions of a “Maker Monday” program. The basic concept was a Monday program dedicated to Makerspace ideas and STEM learning. Because the idea of Maker Mondays was different at every library page I looked into, I ended up making a combination version of my own, formatted to fit my library and work schedule. I decided it would be every Monday evening from 4-6pm targeted for ages 6-12. Children are free to drop in anytime during the program hours and do as many STEM (or STEAM or STREAM, whichever you prefer) activities as they’d like.

It’s been less than two months and the stations have so far stayed pretty regular. I generally include the following:

  • a laptop for computer coding (hourofcode.com)
  • board games that target financial and informational literacy (Blokus, Monopoly, Creationary)
  • Legos for building
  • blocks and other connector sets for engineer building activities
  • some kind of craft for the day if I have time

But there are other ideas I’ve read about online and would likePA Forward Logo of Five Literacies to try. We might make ice cream using one of the rolling ball ice cream machines or work on fractions by taking an easy trail mix recipe and making it into single portions (i.e. “If the recipe calls for one cup each of these ingredients and makes four servings, how much do you need of each ingredient if you want to make one serving?”).  I’ve also read about making a sandbox into a dinosaur dig for them to find bones of a model dinosaur to put together which I think could be fantastic. There are so many great ideas out there in today’s libraries that I’d like to try at my library.

Do you have any Makerspace or STEM programming that you think would be worth sharing? Let us know!

 

 

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