Maker Play Inspires Confidence & A Love Of Learning In Kids
Posted December 23, 2019 by Fort Magic
Many educators and parents alike are starting to see the value in including maker play in their learning environment. It builds your child’s confidence and sets them up for a successful future. Here are some ways you can bring Fort Magic into your learning environment.
What Is Maker Play?
Maker play is an environment that encourages collaboration during play. Kids are provided with open-ended toys that allow room for creativity. There’s no specific endpoint that they need to get to. Maker play is all about the process rather than what they end up with.
It’s a space that encourages them to use the creative parts of their brains and invent new ideas. Kids are encouraged to work together to come up with ideas and then put those ideas into motion. Kids learn by doing. They also learn from their mistakes and build confidence as they push through those mistakes to come out with something they created all on their own.
Benefits of Maker Play
One of the big benefits of maker play is that it is a fun way of learning. Kids might be overwhelmed if you sit them down with a huge book and have them read about how an engine works. However, if you let them build the engine then they will not only have fun doing it but they are much more likely to understand how it works. There are many other benefits of maker play and reasons you might want to bring it into your learning environment-whether at home or in a classroom!
1. Builds Confidence
One of the greatest things to watch in your learners is to see them go from shy, hesitant kids to the ones who are confident enough to step up and start teaching the other kids. When kids learn in a maker play environment, they build confidence. Take fort building for example. The kids might be hesitant to jump in on the fun in the beginning.
However, as they start putting pieces together and watch it turn into something, they become more confident. An important part of maker play is that everyone encourages each other. If what a child is working on doesn’t turn out the way they wanted, encourage them to keep going. They simply take off the parts they aren’t working and try out new ideas. Once they are successful, this will propel them forward to try new things.
2. Empowers Kids
Maker play can take the confidence they build while learning from trial and error and empower them in other areas of their lives. Once they are successful in building something that was in their minds, they will have the confidence to start building other things. This type of learning also creates new pathways in their brains and the more they use those pathways, the more they are strengthened.
They grow confidence in the small things and then they feel empowered to try bigger things. Kids that are innovators are encouraged to learn in this type of hands-on learning environment. In fact, kids that learn in a maker space grow into adults that are 8 times more successful than kids who learned in a more traditional environment.
3. Encourages Innovation
This type of environment also encourages kids to invent. Because of the confidence and empowerment they build, they’ll be more likely to try new ideas. If they hit a roadblock, then they keep trying new ideas until they reach their desired outcome. It’s by this process that new ideas are made. The creative environment that they’re already in also encourages them to think critically and brainstorm new ideas.
4. Prepares Kids for the Future
A maker play space also encourages collaborative play. This means that the kids all work together to create something. Kids can bounce ideas off each other to come up with new ideas. For example, if they are building a fort and it’s starting to lean to one side, the kids can all try their different ideas to fix the problem.
Kids learn how to interact with others and see the value that each child brings. When they get to see that they created something by working together then they get to learn valuable tools for a successful future.
Ideas to Bring Fort Magic Into Your Maker Play Space
Fort building is a great way to encourage maker play. It brings hands-on learning, collaborative play, and critical thinking to your educational space. It’s also a fun way to get your learners excited about learning. Here are some of our ideas to use fort building in your learning.
1. Create A Music Fort
After you’ve worked with your kids to build the fort, set up a space inside for them to make their own musical instruments. You can use toilet paper rolls filled with rice, empty licorice containers for drums, and PVC pipes with nails for rain sticks. Once they’ve created their musical instruments, encourage them to create their own music by working together.
2. Create A Science Fort
Most kids love learning about science. You can set up tables inside of your fort with stations to do different science experiments. Set out instructions and let them carry out the experiments on their own. They can learn what happens when you drop a Tums into a liter of soda, if water and oil mix and the many other fun science experiments out there.
3. Create A Cooking Fort
Cooking is a fun way to teach kids some basic life skills as well as how ingredients can change when cooked or mixed with water. They can also learn math skills as they measure out ingredients. You can place a microwave in your cooking fort for any dishes that need to be cooked.
One example you can do is have your kids break open an egg on a plastic plate. Have them observe what it looks like raw and then have them cook it for 1 minute. How does it change when it’s cooked? This is called denaturation. You can also scramble eggs or boil them to see how differently they look.
These are just a few ways you can use the Fort Magic Kit in maker play. Hands-on learning is very valuable to the education of your child.