Thursday, January 2, 2014

Breaking down the "age-appropriate" barriers to tinkering

Adult and teen explore wearable electronics together.
Sometimes I feel we have let our passion run amok in terms of "developmentally appropriate" sensitivity in planning programs.  Isn't it just as much fun to have excited adults join turned on teens and enthusiastic elementary students in exploring the possibilities of Little Bits electronics, sewing, soldering, cardboard construction?

Why can't we have more intergenerational experiences in our Makerspaces?



Do we have to segregate by age so finely?

Dad and son explore the Hour of Code together...
 At the Duxbury Free Library, some of the push back is going to be driven by our new effort to have more experiences available casually and not so much in a program format.

Having a "Little Bits" Bar and table with Legos and other construction experiences available for the casual library visitor could be an enticement to sign up for a class or Tinkering session. We have lots of teens and children who are hanging out waiting for a tutor or a parent to arrive. We have parents and older adults who are casually visiting. Why not give them an experience that engages their curiosity and pushes them to ask questions?


Raising chickens in your backyard was
presented by an entire Duxbury family.
 We haven't started this initiative yet, but we're talking about it....

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