Finding new ways to engage your preschooler at home is ever ongoing. Playing the same games over and over can become boring for your little one. What about allowing them to create and design on their own in what is called a “Maker Space”. A Makers Space gives kids an opportunity to create and design with their own imagination using simple materials. These are sometimes found in libraries and children museums, but they are really so easy to create in your home.
Maybe you have a craft basket or drawer at home where you have art supplies for your child. This is a great extension of that type of creativity. A Maker Space contains materials that allow your child to build and design what ever they can imagine. Giving your preschooler some basic materials and letting them freely build will keep them engaged and busy for a good amount of time. For a younger kiddo, simply giving them tape, kid safety scissors, and random materials that you could recycle is enough to get them busy creating.
I gave my preschooler tape, scissors, some aluminum foil, markers, and some random recyclables. He went to town! I told him to build something, whatever he could think up. He was so excited to do so and really took his time to think and deign up a creation. I did not give him any instructions or guidance. I just let him explore with different materials and create on his own. During his building he would ask me questions about what he was doing and talk out loud to himself when he was going from step-to-step. It was fun to see him trying to fix things that were not holding and try different options. This is such a good activity for preschoolers to experience problem solving and expand their fine motor skills.
As your preschooler gets older and if they become really interested in this type of activity, you could expand it by making challenges. For instance, find a small Lego man and give your preschooler a goal. This will really challenge their creativity. You could try to have your kiddo create a boat that floats for their Lego man, a plane that flies, or a house that they could fit inside. The activities are endless! Adding in different tools to your Maker Space is something that we will be doing as well. Each time we pull out our Maker Space box, I will add a new material in (Q-tips, glue sticks, wooden popsicles, broken toy parts, paper clips). The list here is endless too. Adding in random household items is so easy to do in order to expand the tools in your child’s Maker Space items.
It is also important to designate a space for the project to be stored. Most of the time my preschooler likes to continue to build upon his design. Along with the basket of tools we have set aside for the Maker Space, we have a designated shelf for his project to be stored. I would hate for something to get accidentally tossed or broken, so I eliminated that with having a shelf that he knows where his creation can be stored and we can keep it safe.
Adding in a Maker Space type of box/area in your home is such an easy way to culture creativity for your child. It expands on just the paper and crayons type of art activities that we already do at home. Fun conversations and enjoyment had by your preschooler will get you all excited to have a Maker Space in your home where your kiddo can produce creativity, design fun projects, and grow their imagination.
Lead Prekindergarten Teacher