June 10, 2016

Books for Your Makerspace

To piggyback on my previous makerspace post about supplies and products to include in a makerspace, I have suggestions for books to include in an elementary makerspace.  These books help teachers design challenges and help students complete prompts, and they are a needed addition to an effective makerspace.  

One of the most popular stations in my makerspace surround duct tape challenges.  I’ve had students build boats and create a wearable accessory with duct tape.  These books help students with duct tape creations:
  • Kids Guids to Duct Tape Projects by Sheri Bell-Rehwoldt
  • Tape It & Make It by Richela Fabian Morgan
  • Tape It & Wear It by Richela Fabian Morgan
  • Tape It & Make More by Richela Fabian Morgan

Students also enjoy folding paper into fun creations.  I helped kindergartners make paper airplanes for the first time this year.  When they saw their plane soar across the room, they smiled so big and their face lit up!  Here are a list of paper airplane and origami books to help children create fun paper projects:
  • My First Guide to Paper Airplanes by Christopher Harbo
  • Easy Paper Airplanes by Norman Schmidt
  • Paper Airplanes by Jenny Fretland VanVoorst
  • Easy Origami by Dokhohtei Nakano and Eric Kenneway
  • Easy Origami Toys by Christopher Harbo
  • Easy Animal Origami by Christopher Harbo
  • Easy Ocean Origami by Christopher Harbo

Sewing and knitting are very popular at my school’s maker space as well.  Kids have made pillows and curtains, and even repaired their backpacks!  These books provide ideas and simple instructions for students just starting to sew and knit:
  • Sewing School by Andria Lisle and Amie Petronis Plumley
  • My First Sewing Machine Book byAlison McNicol
  • A Kid’s Guide to Sewing by by Sophie Kerr and Weeks Ringle
  • Kids Knit! by Sarah Bradberry
  • Kids Knitting by Melanie Falick and Kristin Nicholas
  • My First Knitting Book by Alison McNicol

There is no doubt, kids love Legos!  However if given the freedom to make whatever they want from Legos, all kids make house - it’s a very strange phenomenon.  I love having my students create stop motion animation movies with Legos.  Here are a few Lego books to inspire student’s creativity:
  • The Lego Book by Daniel Lipkowitz
  • The Lego Ideas Book by Daniel Lipkowitz
  • Lego: Awesome Ideas by Daniel Lipkowitz
  • Lego Play Books by Daniel Lipowitz

Lego Technics take Lego building to the next level.  With these students can create wheeled vehicles, machines, and contraptions.  These books will help students up the ante on their Lego designs:
  • The Lego Technic Idea Book: Wheeled Wonders by Yoshihito Isogawa
  • The Lego Technic Idea Book: Simple Machines by Yoshihito Isogawa
  • The Lego Power Functions Idea Book: Cars and Contraptions by Yoshihito Isegawa
  • The Lego Power Functions Idea Book: Machines and Mechanisms by Yoshihito Isogawa

I love asking kids to invent and create something from ordinary objects.  One of my students make the coolest pinball machine from cardboard with a rubber band ball launcher and a paint stirrer  for the ball flipper.  Here are some books to help kids imagine and create cool projects:
  • Fun Things to do with Cardboard Tubes by Marne Ventura
  • The Cardboard Box Book by Roger Priddy
  • Fun Things to do with Paper Cups and Plates by Kara L. Laughlin 
  • Look What You Can Make with Paper Bags by Judy Burke and Hank Schneider
  • I Can Make Costumes by Emily Reid 
  • Pipe Cleaners Activity Book by by Lori Stacy and Jeanne Jacobowski
  • Earth Friendly Crafts by Kathy Ross
  • Box! by Neal Macneal
  • Look What You Can Make with Tubes by Margie Hayes Richmond
  • Look What You Can Make with Craft Sticks by Margie Hayes Richmond
  • Look What You Can Make with Paper Plates by Margie Hayes Richmond
  • Look What You Can Make with Boxes by Margie Hayes Richmond
  • Look What You Can Make with Egg Cartons by Margie Hayes Richmond

If your students are into coding and want to create their own games in Scratch, here are some helpful resources:
  • Coding Games in Scratch by Jon Woodcock
  • Coding Projects in Scratch by Jon Woodcock
  • Coding for Beginners Using Scratch by Rosie Dickens

I’ve created maker kits for students to create items like a flashlight, doodlebot, balloon-powered car, and bristlebot.  Where do I get my ideas?  Online and from these books:
  • The Kids’ Book of Simple Machines by Kelly Doudna
  • Tinkering: Kids Learn by Making Stuff by Curt Gabrielson
  • Make: Paper Inventions by Kathy Ceceri 
  • Making Simple Robots by Kathy Ceceri 
  • Make Electronics by Charles Platt
Along with print materials, there are lots of online resources as well.  My students have accessed some origami how-to, paper airplane tutorials, and even coding videos online.  I personally have accessed YouTube for instructions on how make many items.  Everyone is one Google search away from finding information on anything.  As make school districts go 1:1, students can use their devices to find makerspace instructions or inspiration.  However, not every site is safe for elementary students (especially the scrolling ads).  In this regard, books are always a safe and reliable resource.

I hope you find this like of makerspace books useful.  I truly value these print resources in my makerspace.  When I tell kids to make something to wear out of duct tape, it’s useful to have books provide quick ideas when they need it.  Happy making!

1 comment:

  1. Wonderful posts n fabulous layouts. A gr8 blog especially 4 creative librarians n those that create
    @socialworkpad twitter