Maker spaces do not have to be huge hubs of creativity only found in fancy children's museums. Why not re-purpose some affordable IKEA furniture into a mini maker space for your children to play with at home. It can be done for less than $50!
- IKEA MALA Easel, $19.99
- Creative QT Peel 'n Stick Baseplates, 10" x 10" 4 pack, Green, $29.95 (currently on sale for $23.96, use discount code BACKTOSCHOOL at checkout)
- Selection of building bricks (we used LEGO, but DUPLO and MEGA BLOKS will also work)
- We used our LEGO Storage Jars (see blog post), but the bricks can be put in any type of container or just loose on the tray
Step 1: Prepare the Easel
Lay the easel flat by unhooking the tray section. You can use either the chalkboard side or the whiteboard side. Be sure to give the surface a wipe clean and then dry thoroughly.
Step 2: Plan the Baseplate Placement
Place your four Peel 'n Stick Baseplates in the center of the chalkboard. We just 'eyeballed' the placement, but if you want to be more precise measure the gap left at each edge. Once you are happy with the baseplate placement, use LEGO bricks to connect the four baseplates.
Step 3: Peel 'n Stick the Baseplates
Remove one of the baseplates, but keep the LEGO bricks attached to the removed baseplate. Peel the red backing away, and carefully line it up with the neighboring baseplates. Once the connecting LEGO bricks lock into place firmly push down. Use the palm of your hand to ensure all areas of the baseplate are in good contact with the chalkboard. It might help to put your other hand behind the chalkboard to offer some resistance.
Step 4: Prepare to Play
Stand up the easel and add some building bricks of your choice. Our Peel 'n Stick Baseplates are LEGO, DUPLO and MEGA BLOKS compatible. We added a twist by presenting the LEGO bricks in our fun storage jars.
How to make the most of your Mini Maker Space:
Children will love the novelty of building on a vertical surface. They will also enjoy having such a big surface to work with.
Ensure that the space around your Mini Maker Space is decluttered so that children can access the building surface from all angles. The real beauty of maker spaces comes in watching children build on a blank 'canvas' with total freedom. However, there are also many benefits to using your Mini Maker Space for more structured activities. Make sure you stay tuned on Instagram (@creativeqt) and Facebook (Creative QT). There will be some great activity prompts throughout the rest of the month.
Creative QT designs quality + innovative toys that declutter homes and inspire creative play. Founded by parents of five, Adam and Dana Sue Hinkle, Creative QT’s vision is to empower parents and encourage a culture of families that Make Time Together. All products are designed to enrich families’ lives through active, creative play and play based learning. Creative QT products are laboratory tested for compliance with CPSC requirements and are free of lead, cadmium and phthalates so you can play with confidence. So, go ahead … today is the day: be your kid’s hero.
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