You’re probably familiar with the idea of a makerspace within schools but if you’re considering a makerspace at home, finding the best tools can be confusing. While you can certainly adapt your at-home makerspace for your child’s age, interests, and budget, these are a few of our favorite tools to include that help spark the most innovation. Many of these tools require very specific instruction and close supervision but the benefits are priceless.
Soldering irons really let children turn up the heat on their innovative ideas. They allow them to join virtual and physical realms and explore the concept of electricity. Learning to solder circuit boards is a favorite of many children but if science isn’t where their passions lie, they can also use a soldering iron to create art like paperclip sculptures and molded coins.
Working with a cordless drill is more than a practical life skill that will follow children throughout their lifetimes. It gives them the chance to join different materials and drill holes for a multitude of applications.
Children usually work with a variety of materials in their makerspace and no matter what they’re working on, they can almost always use a little extra stabilization. Vices help hold wood and metal in place while they drill or compress joints while glue is drying. A minimum of two vices is best.
The uses of a hot glue gun are full of potential. The temperature of the glue enables it to bond to many different materials within a matter of seconds, giving children more freedom and tons of time saved.
Regular scissors won’t cut it in a makerspace. They may be enough for younger children, but older children will benefit from these cutting supplies:
All of that cutting and drilling will leave edges feeling rough (and potentially a safety hazard). Keeping a makerspace stocked with sandpaper of varying grit will let students smooth their cuts and put the finishing touches on their pieces. A sandpaper block is perfect for smaller hands.
As your child continues to explore their interests, you can add to their makerspace as needed. Be sure to always supervise and teach proper technique for each tool you bring in. Once safety is established, it’s time to let their imaginations run free!