Learning Launchpad: Resources for Caregivers

Little kid wearing a homemade astronaut helmet admires her homemade rocketship among a prairie with blue skies in the background

Transform Your Dreamer into a Maker

Making something doesn’t mean you have to have access to the latest technology. Many projects can be accomplished by using items you regularly find around the house. Encouraging making at home can give your child or teen critical thinking skills, teach patience and how to iterate, and instill a sense of curiosity about the world around us.

To help you and your dreamer become makers, we've curated a list a books, available with your library card, and developed a blog series called, "STEAMhome" (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math at home), which includes project ideas that you can try at home.

Books

Maker Dad by Mark FrauenfelderTinkerlab: A Hands-on Guide for Little Inventors by Rachelle DoorleyMaker Lab from the SmithsonianThe Giant Book of Creativity for Kids by Bobbi ConnerI Can Play It by Patricia Shehan CampbellThe Curious Kid's Science Book by Asia CitroKitchen Science Lab for Kids by Liz Lee HeineckeCoding Projects in Scratch by Jon Woodcock

STEAMhome Blogs

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Learn what a Scribblebot is and how to build one at home.Read more...
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Mexican Tin Art Self Portraits Many of the greatest artists throughout the ages have tackled the self portrait - now it is your turn! In the style of hojalatas, tin art made in Mexico, the young artists can emboss their likeness into a tin portrait. This activity is best for school age children between 6 and 12 years old. Gathering Your Materials There are plenty of options to get you started: Tooling Foil or disposable tin cookie sheets “Embossing tools” : The sky’s the limit here: dull pencils, the opposite ends of paintbrushes or spoon, nails, or a traditional embossing...Read more...
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Looking for a unique craft project or a hands-on circuit learning lesson? Creating an LED brooch with kids ages 8 years and up does both! This is the first post in our new STEAMhome blog series. Learn how to make at home with SJPL's new blog series STEAMhome!Read more...
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