What is a Maker Space, and when did it become part of our common education vocabulary?
Early Childhood teachers and caregivers have been providing opportunities to create, engineer and fabricate…long before the term “maker-space” was invented.
But language is powerful and Maker Space has great authority, so I’m happy to go with it…and happy to see “tinkering” elevated to the importance it deserves.
In today’s pandemic world, Maker Spaces could easily be “rebranded” as “self-regulation stations.” Maker Spaces not only develop critical thinking and specific STEM skills, they also help us calm down by providing quiet places to relax and play. To get out of our heads and have a hand-mind-body experience.
Most preschools provide children with a quiet corner…an area to retreat to when stressed. A space for solo time with soft cushions, plush toys, and picture books.
Maker spaces can provide similar relief from stress…either as a place for solo play or by supporting small group collaborations. Whether done alone or in a small group, tinkering offers a calming sensory experience.