Summer Making – Fiber Arts, Animation, & Makey Makey!

Over the last three weeks I have watched one of our regular drop-in makers, Yarely (a 4th going on 5th grader), go from making very simple, crafty, step-by-step projects for kids to making projects that blow away her 7th and 8th grade summer making peers.  I bring this up for two reasons.  First, when a child connects with themselves as a maker, a visible shift is made.  Not only in the quality or type or style of work, but in the creative process behind it.  There is a sense of pride and confidence attached, which brings me to reason number two.  When a child isn’t exposed to making, the introductory process takes time.  Figuring out how to start, how to find an idea, how to try through failing is hard work.  It takes persistence and patience to figure out how to sketch out or prototype an idea, how to narrow your options down when looking at material choices, or how to use something like a box cutter.

Not every kid approaches making ready to put in the tremendous amount of effort making will require from them. But sometimes that’s okay, the exposure to making is an opportunity in itself.  This brings me to the work from all the kids over the last three weeks.   Becca Rose and Aaron Strauss  (our summer making instructors) have brought Summer Making into full swing at The Creativity Lab.

I have tried to include video as much as possible to give you a real sense of all this making in school stuff.  Some of the work isn’t great but I still documented it, not only to share it with you (and provide a range of what you can expect in your own classroom), but also to let the kids know that I think what they are doing is important.  It is in the process of making that we learn the most.  So, on to week one!

Week 1: Fiber Arts

Tie-dye, embroidery, and sewing!

Week 2: Animation

Creating animations using stop-motion!  Some chose to work in groups, others solo, most used story-boarding to get going, some made props, and others stuck to whiteboards.

High School Animations

Made using a very affordable software (under $20), the high school makers worked on Macs using iStop Motion to create their short animations.  Here is what they came up with:

Middle School Animations

Made using a FREE software, the middle school makers worked on PCs using MonkeyJam to create their short animations.  Here is what they came up with:

Week 3: Makey Makey

Instruments and controllers using Makey Makey!

Middle School Makey Makey (please forgive the sound quality!)


I will end with this: if Yarely, at 9 years old, is making pianos from scratch where will she be as a senior?!

Special thanks to Becca Rose and Aaron Strauss, our summer making instructors!




About Jessica Gray Schipp

An obsessive documenter, by nature.