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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 new creative experience for kids is here! Think digital magazine meets online project portal in a safe, kid-friendly environment. (No more worrying about what might be hidden in that YouTube vid!) All engineer, teacher, and mom approved. And most definitely KID APPROVED!
- A monthly digital magazine with cool themes that's 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
And get ready to play this month with the brand new STEAM Explorers Ewww Issue! This month's projects, printables, and recipes will make you say ewww, but the kids will say best day ever! And it's perfect for a planned-for-you October.
We've included a whole range of activities from ways to avoid gross to really gross so there's something for everyone:
- Explore the microscopic world with a Fungi, Bacteria, and Viruses, Oh My! lab experiment.
- Take a journey through the body with a Digestive System Model.
- Discover how your senses work with a Smell Test and Eyeball Magnets.
- Build Papier Mâché Hands with art's most fun and most ewwwiest process and learn about hand anatomy.
- Snack and learn from ewww-some Gelatin Worms and totally delicious Slime Cupcakes.
- Plus the kids can create patterns with mushrooms, build a don't touch that tool, make noise with slime, and more!
All packed up in an easy-to-do package, ready for kids ages 6-12 to have fun.
FREE! MINI MAKERSPACE
MUST HAVES CHECKLIST