Make It May!
Nermeen
by
Dr. Nermeen Dashoush, PhD
STEM Specialist and Chief Curriculum Officer
for MarcoPolo World School

It's a maker's paradise as we look at amazing inventions all month. We might often take inventions for granted because we use them on a daily basis (think coffee maker, flush toilet, elevators), but someone had to first come up with the idea! Learning about inventions allows us to appreciate the amount of creativity, perseverance, and problem-solving skills that go along with it.

Children are natural inventors. They are constantly tinkering, creating, changing, and modifying! Ever notice how your child will take a toy or item and play with it not the way it was intended? Puzzle pieces suddenly become currency as they set up a pretend store, couch pillows turn into a fort, and a cardboard box can be the ultimate imagination station!

The childhood process of “making” can be messy, but it’s an important part of your little inventor’s development. As they create, they are developing important life skills such as problem solving, flexible thinking, and, of course, exercising those creative muscles!

From toy inventions to hybrid foods, the MarcoPolo World School May Activity Pack is filled with ideas for making this month as your child learns alongside the Polos about different inventions.

Ways to Support Your MAKERS
Materials
Let your child play with and make things with a variety of materials. Go on nature walks and collect interesting items (teaching them not to pull directly from plants and trees, only things that are on the ground). Give your child some old spice jars and let them create their own concoctions. Keep a cardboard box filled with recycled materials that can be used for constructing (i.e., paper towel tubes, tissue boxes, bottles, rubber bands, egg cartons, scrap paper, etc.).
The May Activity Pack gives your child an opportunity to design and build their own musical instrument! What materials will they use?
Attention
Observe your child in their making process. What materials do they gravitate towards? What are they interested in? How do they respond when something doesn’t work? You can learn about your child’s maker's world just by paying attention!
Key
The key to success is making mistakes! All inventors tried multiple times to get it right. Allow your child to mess up and struggle through the process. It gives them the opportunity to rethink their ideas, to modify, and to problem solve.
Engage
Ask open-ended questions. Provide feedback starting with the phrase, “I notice that you…”
The Activity Pack provides great talking points and suggestions for parental engagement. Look for the “Tip” at the bottom of each activity.
Respect
your child’s time and energy. When they get into a flow, they are using higher level thinking skills all on their own! If the project needs to be interrupted (for dinner, appointments, etc.), let it be a work in progress that they can come back to.
Space
Give your child a specific area for mess making projects. Whether a corner in the kitchen or a workbench outside, a small space is usually sufficient!

Follow along for more learning at MarcoPolo World School. Join us as we study amazing inventions all month long. Check out our free printables here for more hands-on activities. https://www.marcopololearning.com/printables.html

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