TORONTO — MakerKids is a non-profit workshop space for children as young as six years old to craft almost anything they can imagine.
A program that was originally a garage start-up, Founder of MakerKids Andy Forest, uses his program to teach his participants various tangible skills with equipment ranging from 3D printing, electronics, and woodworking.
“I’ve always been a maker,” Forest said. “I’m a self-taught web-developer. I’ve had a web development company for 19 years and I’ve always been interested in creating things.”
With so many programs available, participants like Lief Fitzsimmons Frey attend MakerKids every week in an effort to finish his next big idea.
“It’ll be like a whack-a-mole, except it’ll be robots like this one,” Lief said. “Since I come here about every week, it’s like Christmas every week!”
And it’s not only the kids who get creatively involved, Lief’s father, Rod Fitzsimmons Frey is also an avid volunteer with the program.
“I wanted to volunteer here because I think they do such great work with kids,” Rod said. “Kids come in here not knowing what they can do and they leave with a phenomenal amount of self-confidence, and capability.”
Forest agrees that one of the best parts of MakerKids is that it gives youth a creative outlet, one that allows them to learn the importance of planning ahead, being accountable for your work and above all, being able to tackle challenges independently when required.
“Since it’s their ideas that are becoming reality, then they’re really flexing their minds,” Forest said. “We don’t let them start building until they have a plan. So it’s really the structuring of their own thoughts to how they can create things and really empowering them.”
Interested families can check out the MakerKids website for additional information on after school programs and summer camps, as well as their “Pay What You Can” days that happen every Friday. Participants can also use the promo code: GLOBALTV for a 5% discount on every program, valid until Sunday May, 4.