The popularity of Maker Spaces and Maker Education in schools has exploded and for good reason — kids love using these hands-on areas to explore, problem-solve and tap into their inventive interests. National Geographic Kids Books has recently published Make This! Building, Thinking and Tinkering Projects for the Amazing Maker in You by Ella Schwartz (Feb 2019, ages 8-12, $16.99). I received a copy free to review, and this post contains affiliate links.
Make This! Building, Thinking and Tinkering Projects for the Amazing Maker in You
by Ella Schwartz
This book is designed to inspire the next generation of engineers and supports all kinds of kid creators: those who prefer guided instruction, those who prefer to dream up and design objects on their own, and everyone in between.
Within the nearly 160 pages of this book kids get the tools and the know-how to tackle all kinds of exciting projects:
- building a kaleidoscope
- designing a fidget spinner
- planting a rain forest
- creating a musical instrument
- and more!
Unconventional scenarios inspired by real National Geographic Explorers give kids a chance to think outside the box and apply their maker skills to real life.
Chapters are divided up by scientific principle, such as simple machines, energy, and forces. In each chapter, kids can start by following step-by-step activities, or get creative by tackling an open-ended challenge. Helpful sidebars explain the science behind what’s happening every step of the way.
Make This: Fidget Spinner
One of the activities in the book teaches you how to make your own fidget spinner! Check out this video to see just how to make your own!
My review of Make This!
You might be thinking, “Oh, my child doesn’t like STEM type activities. They’re not a ‘project’ kind of kid.” Well, guess what? This book is still one they will enjoy. It contains such a wide variety of projects that I will bet they’ll find at least one thing they’ll want to make!
As a child, I was not big into STEM type activities either (we didn’t call it STEM back in the old days!), but I have found several projects that I think I would have loved to make. One of these is the “Belt Mover” in the Simple Machines section of the book. You’re basically making a conveyor belt. I totally would have made this to play with as I played with my Fisher Price people! That was my favorite thing to play. I can picture making this conveyor belt and putting pretend groceries on it as my “people” were shopping.
Make This! even has instructions on how to make a string phone! Now I know we made those in the old days! How many of your kids have made them? Now, kids have smartphones when they’re 7, and they’re missing out on the fun!
Let’s get our children back to actually playing. Play leads to discovery and discovery leads to learning! I definitely recommend this book for you and your children.
About author Ella Schwartz
In addition to writing books, Ella is a cyber security warrior interfacing with the U.S. federal government on strategic technology initiatives. She has a bachelor’s and masters degree in engineering from Columbia University. When she’s not working, writing, or training to run a marathon, she volunteers on outreach initiatives to promote women in science and improve science literacy. Ella lives on Long Island, New York with her husband and three sons.
About the giveaway
One US follower will win a copy of Make This! courtesy of the sponsor. This giveaway is void where prohibited. The sponsor will ship the prize to the winner. By entering this giveaway, you’re agreeing to the privacy policies of this blog. Entrants need a profile picture on their social media accounts, or your entry will be void. The winner has 48 hrs. to claim the prize or another winner will be chosen.