Learning With Projects

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We hear from many of our customers who are looking for ways to help children learn, grow, and prepare for the ever-changing world around us. Kids need creativity, stick-to-itiveness, and a commitment to lifelong learning. if they’re going to be able to adapt on the fly as they meet new challenges.

That’s why we love projects at Make It KPT. Project-based learning works because it provides:

  • Motivation - In a project, you’re working for an end result. You have a goal, and you’re focused on achieving it. Don’t know how to change a washer on your faucet? Think about how motivated you might be to learn that skill if the dripping is keeping you up all night.

  • Real world excitement - In the real world, you never know what will come up. You have to solve problems on the fly, learn how to get help, and combine all kinds of brain power, physical dexterity, communication skills, and technology to adapt to the conditions.

  • A sense of achievement - We all love to show off what we have made. “Look everyone, I made this!” That sense of accomplishment fuels the grit and determination that will help kids get through all kinds of challenges. They own the process, they own the results.

Motivation, real world relevance, and achievement are great gifts to give a child. They’re gifts that will keep on giving as they grow up.

You can make just about anything into a project for a child. Younger children can help cook breakfast - assembling ingredients and following a recipe are all steps in a project. Sure, there might be some shells in the scrambled eggs, but that’s all part of learning. Older kids can plan and execute a full meal, or even a meal schedule for an outing or camping trip. Or they can jump into making or building something by learning a craft or exploring a new technology.

This is why we focus on kits, puzzles, games, and classes and workshops at Make It KPT. We love to help all of our customers help the children in their lives learn with projects.

What are your best ideas for getting your kids doing and learning from projects? Please share in the comments section.

And check out our upcoming Maker Kids April Vacation Camp for an opportunity for kids ages 8-12 to learn with wearable technology.

We Have Chickapig!

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Just in time for the holidays, we are very excited to have Chickapig in the house! An intriguing combination of chess and checkers, it incorporates funny animals and cow poop, and is taking the country by storm. NPR did a whole piece about Chickapig!

Come in to Make It KPT and give it a try, and look at our calendar for our Holiday Game Nights.

"I love Chickapig! It’s engaging, interactive, and has great replay value.  Chickapig is mighty, mighty fun!" -Pete Fenlon, CEO Catan Studio

We Dropped It, And It Was Hot!

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It's not every day when a game brings the right combination of ease of learning, fun play, and brain exercise, but Drop It did all that!  This past weekend, we hosted a Drop It party at Make It KPT, and everyone really enjoyed the game.  It's simple to learn, fast paced, and quickly got strategic for those who wanted to take it to the next level.  Drop It is a new family fave that we'll continue to play.  Come by Make It KPT for one of our Game Extravaganza nights and give it a try!  You'll like it!

Happy New Year!

Our #2017bestnine photos show a bit of what a happy and fun year we've had here at Make It KPT!  We send out a huge thank you to all our friends and customers from near and far who've helped to make 2017 a truly banner year for Make It KPT, and we wish you a very happy and healthy 2018.  We've got lots of new ideas cooking for 2018, so stay tuned for even more fun and creativity.  Let's #makesomethingawesome in 2018!

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Thank You for Shopping Small!

We're sending out a big Make It KPT thank you to everyone who came out and shopped with us this weekend for Pajama Shopping Small Business Saturday!  The fantastic support we get from all of our local friends makes such a difference.  We greatly enjoyed all the fun and conversations we had, and hope you all enjoyed yourselves, as well! 

Today, we are sending our donation of $1 for  every purchase made on Saturday to the Education Foundation of the Kennebunks & Arundel. 

We also send a big thanks to the wonderful Chamber of Commerce of the Kennebunks & Arundel for all they do to make this event happen.

Thanks again, everybody, for your support and friendship!

#shopsmall

Calling All Camping Gearheads!

We love it when a new technology meets an old problem, and solves it.  We're gearheads, for sure, so the Luminoodle caught our attention right away.

Old Problem:  You know when you're camping  in your tent or RV and you just can't get enough light to cook with, or read, or play your favorite board game?  

New Solution:  Luminoodle strung together an elegant rope of LEDs, created some re-usable, zip-tie-like hangers, and made the whole thing workable from a USB charger or connected outlet.  Super-easy to use, attaches anywhere, and transports easily.  Need ambient light?  Just stuff the LED rope into the translucent sack, and voila!  A soft-white lightbulb.

That's gear-tastic!  We've got the 10-foot Luminoodles at Make It KPT.  Come check 'em out!

Summer Inspiration

Summer inspires.  Warm air and sunshine free us to wander.  Morning mist floating on the water catches our eye and our imagination.  Long days give us time to ponder ideas and projects.  

Take advantage of this perfect time of year to try a new creative pursuit, or return to an old one.  This summer at Make It KPT, customers have gotten kits and supplies to return to a craft they used to do.  Kids have tried new forms of making, from knitting, to building circuits, to programming a robot, to learning how to draw their pets, and more.  The possibilities are endless, and endlessly exciting.

And, in the end, a journey of creativity IS the end - the process of exploring, experimenting, and learning so pleasant to ponder on a summer's day.

#makesomethingawesome

I Fixed It!

I’m a bit obsessed with all the cool flight-related kits and items we have at Make It KPT.  The mini quadcopters are a lot of fun, and I got one for my son for his birthday.  We’ve had a great time flying it all around the house, and my son is getting really good at it.  There have been quite a few “training crashes” over the last week, and the ‘copter has weathered them no problem.  Well, yesterday after a bad landing, both rear rotor blades fell off, and when my son put them back on, the blades weren’t spinning right and the ‘copter wouldn’t fly.

We worked through the list of troubleshooting items on the instruction sheet, with no improvement, so we went to bed.  In the morning, the little ‘copter was talking to me - “Come on, you can fix me…Come on…”  So I started googling and tinkering.  Finally, I stumbled onto a YouTube video that talked about how the propeller blades were labeled A and B (in teeny tiny print) and needed to match the labels on the motor.  Lo and behold, we had switched them when we put them back on.  A quick switch back, and we were flying again.

How psyched was I?  Pretty psyched!  I fixed this mechanical flying thing by using my head and good ol’ Google.  Just goes to show, yet again, we can all be makers and fixers when we put our minds to it!

Makin' It

I just finished reading Elizabeth Gilbert’s new book “Big Magic,” all about expressing our innate creativity.  In it, she encourages us to follow our natural instincts to make stuff, and to silence those voices, whether internal or external, that tell us we’re “not creative.”  As Liz points out -

“If you’re alive, you’re a creative person.  You and I and everyone you know are descended from tens of thousands of years of makers.  Decorators, tinkerers, storytellers, dancers, explorers, fiddlers, drummers, builders, growers, problem-solvers, and embellishers - these are our common ancestors.”

As I talk to people during my day-to-day work at Make It KPT, I am fascinated by everyone’s stories about their own creative journeys.  Many have found inspiration in their family trees - a grandma who made everything from afghans to cherry jam, a grandpa who could build anything and tinkered away in the basement, an aunt who designed fashion in New York, a father who was an expert welder.

The only difference between any of us and our creative ancestors is the decision to make stuff.  Whether we make things that are essential to survival or decorative and beautiful, they are all creative and worthwhile, and we all have it in us to be makers.  We just need to have a free and open attitude and make something.

I highly recommend “Big Magic.”  It was a fun and inspirational read.  You can find it at - http://www.elizabethgilbert.com/.