Making the holidays bright with a makerspace
How to create a holiday makerspace at home.
The holiday season is in full force with breaks from school only days away. As decorating, shopping and wrapping fill every spare minute, figuring out engaging activities to keep young ones occupied is probably falling down your to-do list. Rather than try to come up with something new, why not make use of the holiday preparation you are already doing? How? Have a holiday makerspace right at home! Makerspaces can be part craft room, part workshop, part computer lab—a space to use any tools and materials you have to make something.
Making is all about creating something new. Even if most of your decorations are up by the time school lets out for the year, you can always use a new, wacky ornament or another piece of garland made from odds and ends. Young people (and adults) often struggle with how to start creating without any directions. Making a decoration gives a starting point while also maintaining the free-flow spirit of making.
Every year, online shopping seems to grow in popularity. With the convenience of your purchases being delivered to your doorstep comes boxes, packaging and bubble wrap. These are all great, raw materials that can be used in your pop-up holiday makerspace! Materials that are cheap or free lower the cost of making mistakes—a key part of the creative process. Want to take it a step further? Make sure a few of those gifts themselves encourage making, like craft supplies, building kits or basic electronics projects.
One thing that is hard to avoid when making and creating is the mess. With decorations up and company coming over, the last thing you will want to do is clean up after your little makers. Makerspaces can often be packed up with containers and carts, or you can just use that other messy corner everyone has during the holidays—your wrapping station. Where you wrap presents already has a lot of makerspace basics like tape, scissors, a large flat surface and cardboard tubes when the paper runs out. Maybe someone will get creative with that one roll of paper that never seems to run out.
Before choruses of “I’m bored” start drowning out your favorite holiday tunes, start planning out a holiday makerspace that will be fun for all ages. Need more details on how to get started? Check out these Michigan State University Extension articles: “Maker Space: anytime, anywhere” and “STEM for the holidays.”