A visit to Makerkids, Toronto's makerspace for kids

I'm in Toronto visiting my family with my daughter, Poesy. I was intrigued by Makerkids, a makerspace for children that does after-school and summer programs for kids who want to hack toys, use the woodshop, learn Arduino and electronics, use Minecraft to product Printcraft 3D prints on the Makerbot Replicator, and more. Andy Forest, the space's co-founder, was gracious enough to show us around and to get Poesy started on hacking a robot, and to get her cousin Jaxon working on disassembling a Wall-E robot and changing its arms and such. It was a great day -- and it's a great space -- and Andy has put up a blog post about the day.

My daughter Zhen figured out how to make candy flowers, and kept us well fed with sugar.

Next to arrive, Alex brought with him a huge box of speakers. He loves taking things apart, so he brought the parts in to see what he could make. He ended up making a speaker box out of wood and wiring it up to our stereo!

Audrey arrived with her brother Wilder and a plan – she didn’t want to slip on the ice any more! So after designing some strap-on ice cleats on the whiteboard, she got right to work. Next, she moved to the wood shop. She mastered the jigsaw to cut out some plywood soles and drilled holes in it for the ice-cleat screws. She’s coming back next week to finish it off.

First time visitor Arbor produced a huge list of crazy ideas and narrowed down to making a light-up head. She learned to solder and wired up LEDs, batteries, resistors and switches like a champ!

We also had a maker kid creating a video game with the Alice software. I peered over his shoulder and it looked interesting!

Friday Open Shop