Healthy, strong family relationships are foundational to young people’s growth, learning, and well-being.
These relationships build strong social and emotional strengths that kids use throughout their lives.
But great family relationships don’t just happen.
Welcome to My Discovery Destination!
Discovery Family Adventures
where your family can find plenty of opportunities to
The Discovery Family Adventures provide ideas, activities, and experiences to help build strong family relationships.
Our goal is to strengthen family relationships to help kids be and become their best selves
and to support parents in raising happy, successful, resilient kids in an exciting,
but sometimes turbulent and dangerous world.
Choose from the Adventures listed below
(or design your own family adventure!)
Create a Home MakerSpace
GOAL: Promote creative and exploration by having a makerspace in your home.
The ADVENTURE: Review the following information and then choose the suggestions below that fit best with your situation and needs for building a makerspace in your home.
Praise the family member's work that they build in the maker space
Support the work family members do in the maker space by providing supplies they need for their projects as often as possible.
Make room to display their work when possible and appropriate. For example, if a teen creates a project they are excited about make room in the family room for it to be displayed for a time.
Share pictures of the projects they make on social media, with family and friends, and talk it up! Let them hear you say how proud you are of their creativity and the skills they are developing.
Reward them with extra time to work on their projects from time to time. On occasion you may want to let them out of dish duty to go finish up the project they were almost done with. This will show them that you are interested in what is important to them, and that you support their efforts.
Maker spaces provide powerful contexts and opportunities for youth (and grown up kids!) of all ages to learn and develop new skills. Learning in these spaces can empower kids, helping them to shift from being passive consumers of information and products to active creators and innovators.
WHAT is a Makerspace?
A makerspace is a place where family members can gather to create, invent, tinker, explore, produce, craft, solve problems, collaborate, develop new skills, and discover using a variety of tools and materials. This area lets you use tools and equipment to design, build, and create all sorts of different things. A personal makerspace is simply an area that facilitates creating.
WHY a Makerspace?
The purpose of these spaces are to foster that creative and critical thinking – and to keep supplies in an easy-to-use area. Children do not need fancy tools, like a 3D printer, to be inventors. They just need stuff to create their ideas and test them.
Every kid, and every home, has different needs and limitations, so use the following as suggestions and ideas, but not a definitive guide. The goal is to provide your family members with a space that will encourage all of you to imagine, explore, and discover innate interests and talents.
BENEFITS of a Makerspace:
Provides an opportunity to innovate.
Creates real-world applications.
Learn to take failure in stride.
Expose kids to new opportunities.
Build critical thinking and problem-solving skills.
Develop a wide range of 21st century skills.
Step 1: Choose a Space and Worktable
Find a space that you don't mind getting messy. This could be a corner in the play room, or bedroom, or making a space in the storage area. Ideas for a worktable include a desk with keyboard tray that can make a nice active workspace while the desktop will be useful for placing tools and materials that are useful to keep on hand. The cubbies below can store tools and materials. Other ideas would be a folding table or a small kids table. You should be able to find something at a garage sale for very little.
Step 2: The Right Tools
The age and interests of the makers in your home will determine which tools you need. A child who loves the decorative arts and crafts could use glue sticks, rubber cement, or crazy craft scissors. Electronics and light metal work require a soldering iron. There are a few things that every makerspace should have: scissors, masking tape, hot glue gun with an insulated nozzle. It's really up to you to decide what's best to suit the individual interests of your makers.
TIP: Young children (age 6 or so) can effectively and safely use a hot glue gun with careful introduction, guided practice, and having the right mindset. Rather than focusing on the dangers of hot glue, focus on it's benefits. Try introducing hot glue as follows:
Hot glue is great because it is easy to use and it dries very quickly.
This means that you can build something, test it out, add onto it, play with it, and build some more all in one making session.
However, hot glue is hot! The glue gun needs to get hot enough to melt the solid glue. The tip of the glue gun is the hottest part, and the glue when it first comes out is also very hot. Keep your fingers away from these.
Demonstrate how to hold a glue gun and how to assemble things without getting your fingers too close.
As a rule of thumb, always try to put hot glue on the bigger of two objects. Putting hot glue on a small object that's being held with your fingertips is risky.
If you do get burned, run your hand under cold water and count to 50. Repeat if necessary.
Burns that persist can be treated by applying and removing an ice pack as needed.
Allowing young children to use a glue gun builds self confidence as a person and as a maker. Not many kids get to independently use a glue gun!
Step 3: Gather Materials
Your material choice will depend on factors such as the age of your makers, your budget, space, and availability. Here is an example for children of elementary school age, and with a modest budget and space efficiency in mind.
First, talk to your children about the things they think they need to make what they want! If they're not sure, find a variety of craft supplies and see what interests them. It's important to find a variety of interesting supplies, because limited supplies can limit the imagination.
There are some great places to find inspiring materials:
Reuse stores. These are stores that accept material donations and resell them at a low cost. Search Google Maps or Yelp in your area for "reuse store." The content of these stores can range from discounted crafting goods to wholesale hardware.
Thrift stores. Cheap appliances and toys can be disassembled for interesting parts.
Local recycling center. Call ahead of time and ask if they'll allow you to take cardboard boxes, plastic bottles, and more.
Your own home-- remember to save empty paper towel and toilet paper rolls, cereal boxes, old bottles, small boxes, packing materials, popsicle sticks, scraps of fabric and paper, wrapping paper, yarn, etc.
Step 4: Get Organized
There is something delightful about rummaging through a bin of random materials, but it can be discouraging when you need to find 50 craft sticks at the bottom.
Find something to keep your materials organized. Keep in mind that your young maker might not keep things as organized as you do, so it may be prudent to use 3-10 containers that keep things organized by a general material type versus individual materials. (Ex: A container for all recyclables instead of a container for toilet paper tubes, another container for cereal boxes, and a third for cardboard boxes). Clear plastic makes it easy to select the right material without labels.
Step 5: Provide Inspiration
You're ready to make! Once you have a great idea, the next step is to search the web to find out if anyone else has tried something similar, and if so, what great ideas are out there for you to build on. Yes, it's very gratifying to come up with a totally unique project idea, and it's just as gratifying to take existing ideas and combine them in new ways. Creating projects that are inspired by others also helps build skills and experiences that your young maker can draw upon later.
Here are some resources to start with:
Be sure to check out Made for STEAM, an amazing collection of hands-on projects for kids!
Some great places for finding inspiration to match your young maker's vision include searching Google images or searching Pinterest using words like "kids" "art" "craft" "engineering" "stem" "make" "fun."
by Just Imagine!
Our mission is to build a vibrant downtown business district, provide outstanding arts, recreation, and entertainment opportunities, and preserve downtown's unique culture and heritage!
Check back often as we will post new Adventures every week
Not sure how the Discovery Family Program works?
Discovery Family Program How-To Visual
My Discovery Destination! Adventures
Sponsored by My Discovery Destination! and local businesses and organizations in your community
for the purpose of
STRENGTHENING FAMILIES and BUILDING CHARACTER.