What is Maker Monday?
Maker is an educational Movement that has gotten a lot of attention in recent years for being a great collaborative way to solve problem-based or project-based learning challenges. It is closely related to STEM education and a fun way to practice grade level skills in a practical way.
Start your own Maker Monday
Start MAKER in your home as early as preschool by implementing a Maker day. It can really be any day of the week but I like “Maker Monday” because it helps start the week with creativity and self expression. This is also a great solution for multi-age families getting all kids involved in a project. PreK & Kindergarten kids will focus on fine motor & creativity as they get the hang of this open ended project.
Set aside items during the week (Tuesday- Sunday) to be upcycled (turned into something new).
Automate this process by setting aside an “Upcycle” bin or paper bag near the trash & recycle bins and getting the whole family on-board with setting things aside like empty granola bar and cereal boxes, etc.
Maker Monday Building Materials
SAVE your recyclable paper materials for Maker Monday!
- Paper towel rolls,
- TP rolls (empty of course),
- boxes- all shapes & sizes & types but thin cardboard is easier to cut or tear so kids can make it what they need
- egg carton
- empty (rinsed out) plastic bottles & soda & aluminum cans (CHECK for sharp edges)
- Small pieces of scrap wood
Maker Monday Binding Materials
- tape (painters, scotch, duct)
- glue stick
- hot glue gun (low temperature) * this dries the fastest but requires supervision
- Wikki Stix
Maker Monday Decorative Materials & Embellishments
- google eyes
- glitter glue (so messy but so fun)
- nature based decorations are always popular (rocks, sticks, flowers, etc. gather them from your yard)
- any seasonal decorations or color palates are helpful motivators (see monthly theme suggestions)
What do Kids do?
Visualize, Design, then Build and idea.
Kids think about something they want to create. Try a mix of open ended or have a prompt (theme) or challenge to solve. Its a great way to “stretch” and grow their brain and after some practice they feel more confident & are excited to get started.
Help your child with a little more direction & encouragement create something with them and “think-a-loud” as you build. This helps them begin to internalize how to visualize, design and build.
Themes by Month
Try these ideas:
SEPTEMBER- Build a pencil holder
OCTOBER- Spooky (or silly) halloween decoration to put out on display
NOVEMEBER-Make a Gratitude Jar
DECEMBER- Holiday up-cycled decoration
JANUARY- Winter Birdhouse or Winter Bird feeder (look up winter birds in your area)
MARCH- Leprechaun traps
APRIL- Fairy/ Wizard Houses
MAY-Build a raft/ boat (that floats for 10 seconds)
JUNE- Marble Run
JULY-Build an ice fortress (this one requires pre-made frozen blocks, cylinders & cubes of ice, preferably with food coloring instead of recyclable materials kids build with the ice cubes on a warm day- SUPER FUN!)
AUGUST-Build a bridge