MakerKids Teaching Approach

MakerKids’ teaching approach empowers children to be creators, not just consumers. We equip kids with the tools and mindsets to be leaders and inventors.

MakerKids is a place for self-directed and project-based learning. Our programs are child-centric, interest-driven, and focused on empowering kids to be creators, rather than just consumers. Childhood is the most formative stage of life, and if kids learn leadership skills, they will carry them for the rest of their lives. Imagine what a different world we can create by empowering more kids

MakerKids Programs Toronto

A Parent Guide to MakerKids Mentalities

MakerKids is an organization that enables kids to build their ideas with computers and materials. Our teaching approach is to inspire and empower kids to think, design, experiment and create. Our adult mentors are facilitators for the kids, and also encourage them to seek out resources to learn on their own, and to teach each other. Teenage mentors help the younger kids, also acting as an accessible role model. Interwoven with everything we do is our philosophy to honour kids’ own creativity and trust their abilities. Kids who are confident in their own abilities are capable of learning and doing anything!

MakerKids’ Recipe:

  • Dedicated Space
  • Computers and Materials
  • Process over Product
  • Interest Driven
  • Kids Teaching Kids
  • Kids Teaching Us
  • Exhibition
  • Community

Some key principles:

  • It’s OK to fail

  • Experiential Learning – Learn by doing

  • Choose to celebrate Making (not just what they’ve made)

More About Us (in case you are interested):

The MakerKids Approach: Teaching Our Kids How to Shape The Future

MakerKids has values that underlie elements of all of our programs. We believe that although the topics we teach are important – such as 3D Printing or Robotics using Arduino – but regardless of the activity, creating opportunities for kids to foster critical thinking, creativity and problem solving skills are crucial. The Maker Movement ideals and the values that our programs aim to impart are perfect for creating these types of opportunities, and to strengthen the ability to create and innovate.

Technology plays a very important part of the maker movement – but it isn’t the only factor. Regardless of whether an activity is high-tech or low-tech, the most important thing is the environment we are fostering, the values, and the way that it will change a child’s outlook on their abilities, regardless of what tool or challenge they are faced with next. The environment we are trying to build is to help kids innovate and create, and empower them to lead and change the world.

Our values include: Ownership, Learning how to learn, Be open to challenges, Community, and Celebrating differences.

1. Ownership: We provide an opportunity for ownership and responsibility for their own project and learning, as well as the space they work in and the rules that govern it.

  • Kids are in control of their own project and learning
  • Kids are expected to help maintain the space, the rules, and safety
  • Responsibility + trust = empowerment

2. Learning how to learn: Learning to make their ideas come to life

  • Child-centred, project-based and interest­-driven learning
  • Emphasis on process, planning, and identifying the materials, knowledge and skills they need
  • Identifying problems and where to look for answers

3. Be open to challenges: Create opportunities for failure, to identify problems, experiment, create solutions, and to try again. Use new and challenging materials and software.

  • Opportunities for failure
  • Persistence! Experiment and try again
  • Real software and skills that adults use too (e.g. Arduino)

4. Community: Make friends and build social/teamwork skills

  • Learn together and learn from each other
  • Educator is there to facilitate and ask questions
  • Share your process, challenges and what you learned – make it a part of every day

5. Celebrate differences: Create a safe space where differences, and even not knowing things, are viewed as a strength. We all have things to learn from each other, and even the teacher is not the only expert!

  • A safe space to be different
  • Not knowing is OK
  • Learn from each other

In each MakerKids program, your child will:
1. Make friends with like-minded kids
2. Learn 21st century skills (confidence, creativity, etc)
3. Learn technical skills (e.g. coding)
4. Make something awesome