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Do you have a child who likes to create? Or maybe want to encourage them to? Is something holding you back? I know for me, it’s sometimes the mess. Or maybe the effort of pulling it all together. Today’s post is all about making creating easy in your house with easy to access supplies. This Mini Maker Space Cart for Kids will inspire kids to create, and not just your average art projects. It will inspire them to build, explore electric circuits, and learn with STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art, & math).
Mini Maker Space Must Haves Cart
So I’ve dug alllll through Pinterest to find ways to organize my world. And I keep coming back to the cart idea. Because in our house, we do our projects allll over the house. In the kitchen, in the dining room, in the office. So I wanted our supplies to be mobile. And I wanted it to fit our STEAM-inspired life too, with some more advanced making supplies.
So what do you include in your cart? First, start with what you have… Grab all the craft supplies hiding in the kitchen or the closet or the kids’ rooms and put them all together. It helps to know what you have to pull it all together.
Then you’ll need a cart. Walmart, IKEA, and Michaels have some good ones.
Then think through the type of projects you want to do with the kids.
- All about art? Stock this with paint, paper, palettes, and pastels :)
- All about engineering? Stock the cart of recyclables, connectors, LEGO bricks, and more.
- All about tech? Bring in the electrics.
We’re all about STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art, & math) so we did a mixture of all of those.
To make pulling together your mini maker space super easy, I’ve pulled together this handy free printable for you. It’s a checklist with everything you need to start a killer maker space for your kids.
To have this helpful checklist emailed to you, simply fill out the form below.
FREE! MINI MAKERSPACE
MUST HAVES CHECKLIST
Then think about the containers. You want cups to hold tall skinny stuff like pencils, rulers, and pipe cleaners. And you’ll want some of those magazine boxes to hold paper and scraps. And a couple of lengths of PVC pipe and some ribbon to hang your tape and art paper roll on.
Clean-up Made Easy
One of the things people often mention when they talk about creative projects with kids is the mess. Like as in Capital M MESS. And I’ll be honest, there is mess, but if you plan ahead for how to contain it and how to clean it, mess becomes WAY more manageable. So first, make sure your cart has some super functional containment items like a tray, bowls for small parts, and palettes for paint.
And definitely include some cleanup tools. So one of the critical parts of the cart is the clean-up side because I like to keep my cleaning tools right nearby where the messes happen so I’m ready when the paint starts flying. And sponges are my go-to clean-up trick. Call me #TeamSponge :) In my cart are a Scotch-Brite® Heavy Duty Scrub Sponge, Scotch-Brite® Non-Scratch Scrub Sponge, and some soap. Non-scratch blue for my table, and green for those heavy-duty messes.
How We Use Our Mini Maker Space Cart
Now that you know how to pull together a Mini Maker Space Cart, what do you do with it? Here are some of our favorite activities:
Invitations to Create
Invitations to Create are just open-ended setups that allow kids to explore the process of art, not just the final product. I like to lay out a tray before school pickup with paper and whichever art supplies I think my daughter will love that day. That way it’s ready when things get chaotic after school and during dinner prep. And she gets to be as creative as she wants.
Circuit Activities for Kids
We do a lot of electric projects around our house. So I made sure to include a couple of smaller boxes in the cart for things like wire, electrical and copper tape, motors, and LEDs. These little drawers are perfect for containing these parts, but a quick safety note. If you have littles around, don’t leave batteries out for them to access without parental supervision.
Want to learn about some of the cool circuit projects we do? Think bots and paper circuits and fruit. Yes, fruit :) Click on over here to see them all, plus a cool introduction to circuits for kids.
Tinkering Activities for Kids
Tinkering is huge in our house!! All you have to do is grab some trash (i.e. recycled cartons, rolls, toy parts…) and start designing and building. And don’t stress about the outcome! I asked my daughter yesterday what she was building. She said “I dunno. But it’s cool.” So stock the bottom shelf of your cart full of recyclables and wheel it over to the table to get the creativity brewing. And try this Tinkering Station for Young Engineers.
One of our favorite parts of the cart is the tape roll. It’s super easy to put together. Hop over to the hardware store and get a length of PVC pipe. Cut it just narrower than the width of the cart. Then grab some ribbon or string 2.5 times the length of the pipe and feed it through. Add your tape rolls to the pipe and tie the ribbon onto the cart, cutting off any extra ribbon. You can also use this message to hang a roll of art paper, too.
More Ways to Inspire Your Creative Kids
Looking for some more STEAM inspiration that you can use right now? Instant gratification style? Check out STEAM Explorers!! The coolest creative experience for kids is here! It's a digital book of the month club filled with tons of fun stuff for the kids to do and learn. All engineer, teacher, and mom-approved. And most definitely KID APPROVED!
- A monthly digital magazine with cool themes that are fun to read
- Hands-on, exciting projects the kids will love.
- Science, tech, engineering, art, and math learning YOU’LL love.
- Delicious recipes the kids can make.
- Fun printables and games
In February we're having fun with spy-themed STEAM! The kids will love building a super-secret highlighter flashlight, making I Spy art, leaving their mark on sweet treats, and using science to catch a spy. You’ll love the helpful standards-based learning, printables, and tools that make STEAM exploration easy!
We’ve split the issue into four weekly themes:
- This issue has four weekly themes to inspire your kiddos:
- WEEK 1: HIDE IN PLAIN SIGHT
- WEEK 2: KEEPING SECRETS
- WEEK 3: UNDERCOVER GADGETS
- WEEK 4: CATCH A SPY
FREE! MINI MAKERSPACE
MUST HAVES CHECKLIST