MakerCamp is a series of projects for kids ages 8-12 developed by Make, creators of Make Magazine and the Maker Faire. Instructions for each project are presented in an easy to follow video. MakerCamp 2015 is scheduled for July 6 – August 14, 2015. What I like about the MakerCamp concept is that 1) it is free, 2) kids have the option of doing the activities at home, with friends or at a physical location and 3) it celebrate the DIY (Do It Yourself) movement.
What to Expect at MakerCamp 2015?
Each camp week consists of daily DIY projects and videos corresponding to that week’s theme. Kids (and some of us adults too!) make the daily projects and then a special project on Friday. Each day begins with new video found at the MakerCamp.com.
Kids can (or not) share photos and videos of their projects. Each week will also have an on-line field trip. Monday’s (scheduled) field trip is a visit with Story Artist Valerie LaPointe from Pixar.
The themes for 2015 are Fantasy, Funkytown, Farmstead, Fun & Games, Flight and Far-Out Future. At five projects a week, that’s 30 different projects for kids ages 8-12. And besides the primary project, there are other suggestions of …”If you like this, you might like…”.
What Kinds of Materials Do You Need for MakerCamp 2015?
Most of the projects can be done with household items. If your child (or you) like to go further, you can find kits and materials at the Makershed which is the online store. Visit at your own risk, set a timer and a budget before you go. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.
Amazon has also created a department specifically for STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) toys, projects and DIY kits.
How Can MakerCamp be Online and also in a Physical Location?
A great thing about MakerCamp is the number of ways to enjoy it.
- Watch the video with you child. Do a project as a family activity.
- Find a physical location such as a library, Boys and Girls Club, or summer camp that is offering MakerCamp. Click here to locate a spot near you.
- Invite some kids over, coordinate with other parents in your area and make it a group event.
I love DIY projects. I like the fact that the DIY movement celebrates the creative process in all of us. I like that my child’s project doesn’t have to look like your child’s project. And I love to celebrate each child’s achievement.
If you like doing hands on projects with your children, then I also suggest Lakeshore Learning’s weekly free kid’s activity each Saturday and Home Depot’s free drop in program the first Saturday of each month. I recommend these two stores because the events are free, drop in and don’t require registration in advance. I also recommend Celebrate-Family.com, a sister site with a great listing of family friendly events in the SF Bay area.