Maker Faire: Kansas City

A feast for the mind!  Learning in the raw!  These were thoughts that came to me as my family and I walked through booth upon booth at this year’s Maker Faire in Kansas City!

Ever hear of the “Maker Movement”?  It’s all about kids/adults learning to innovate, create, problem solve “in the new world of crafters, hackers, and tinkerers.”  It’s a revolution of creating, building and birthing new ideas!  You can read more about it in The Maker Movement Manifesto by Mark Hatch.

What is a “Maker Faire”?  Maker Faire: Kansas City celebrates things people create themselves — from new technology, 3D printers and electronic gizmos to home-made soaps, clothes, and sculptures.  It brings together Makers, Crafters, Inventors, Hackers, Scientists and Artists for a faire full of fun and inspiration.

As a teacher and a parent, I’m always on the hunt for avenues to help teach my children “that learning and sharing is exciting and fun!”  And not only fun – but when you find a solution to a problem and you find ways to meet that solution on a large scale – it can benefit your community and be profitable for you at the same time!  Then you can find more “problems” to solve and do it all over again blessing many in the process!

What did we see today?  So many fun things!  And I loved what they said over and over: “You know the disclaimer – ‘Don’t try this at home?’ Well we say, ‘DO try this at home!  In fact, try it lots of different ways at home!”  Words to ignite and kid!IMG_0569


What can you do with 100+ bottles of warm Coke and 500+ Mentos?  This!  and if you want to learn more about these guys – go here!

What happens when you shoot a super sonic ping pong ball cannon (800 MPH)? Who knows!  But this guy built a launcher to test it and learn what happens!IMG_0513

We made leather bracelets – complete with embossing our own names and designs.

We saw 3D printers and kids designing their own creations!

IMG_0531We saw a company completely obsessed with all things robot!  A husband-wife team started this robo-cool company literally making robots, t-shitrs, original art prints of robots and even stationary!  Check out their great quality IMG_0535products here!

We made duct tape journals complete with pockets and special locking devices.

Of course a maker’s Faire isn’t complete without home-made soap!  Bought me some yummy lemon-verbina soap!  Find some for you!

And then we met the Diva of DIY!  You IMG_0561know all that recycling you just throw out?  Well they suggest turning that into matIMG_0562erials for kids to make into their own inventions!  Or take a tire, hotglue some rope and turn it into a shabby chic ottoman!  Super creative – super cheap!  Love DIYers!

And who doesn’t love a race of home-made race cars around a home-made track of tires?!  Just plain fun and super educational…if you’re the maker behind the fun!IMG_0565

Which brings me back to my point of why were doing this with our kids.  We want to illustrate – with REAL life examples – how fun learning can be when you’re a maker!  A do-er!  When you apply this learning into real life – watch out!  That’s when the learning is raw, it’s fun, and it’s addictive!  Is there any other way to learn?

To check out a Maker Faire near you, head over here!