Walking the Maker Faire and Getting Inspired

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One of the cool aspects of our jobs as Product Managers involves researching new markets. We have been watching the Maker Movement develop over the last couple of years and recently decided to research this movement a bit further. In May, Betsy Taylor and I traveled to San Francisco to walk the 10th annual Maker Faire and learn more.

Before we get too far into what we saw at Maker Faire, let me back up to offer some explanation in case you are not familiar with this growing movement. The Maker Movement focuses on creativity, innovation, and a thinking out-of-the-box mind set. It promotes a spirit of collaboration, not competition, encourages project based learning and how to improve ideas through trial and error. The Maker Movement includes projects and ideas in Crafts, Robotics, Electronics, Culinary, Technology (including 3D printing), Music and Science. The Maker Faire is an event created by Make Magazine to celebrate Arts, Crafts, Engineering, Science projects and the D-I-Y mindset.

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Running a Successful Craft Program

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From toddlers to teens to senior citizens, crafting is an exciting, creative experience that offers pleasure and fulfillment. For children, crafts free the creative spirit and set a life-long pattern for imaginative thinking. For the handicapped or learning disabled, crafts are a non-threatening way to learn new skills and discover the pride of accomplishment. For adolescents, art helps define the self they dream of becoming and can act as a means for rebuilding self-confidence. Crafts can also be especially helpful for senior citizens and can forge a sense of community and renew a sense of self-worth.

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9 Reasons I Knew I Had to Invent jWAY

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For starters, if I wasn’t going to do it, someone else was!

jway1

1. jWay is the first ever, life size board game that is actually ACTIVE!

If you’ve seen jWAY in action than you would know that it is a super active game that gets kids on their feet, literally. Kids gravitate towards its competitive, active nature not only because it is fun, but because it involves strategy too! Players take ownership of the board as if it were a “monopoly” of hopscotch, and that entices players to make it to the middle successfully without breaking any of the jWAY rules.

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DIY Father’s Day Puzzle

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Father’s Day is right around the corner, so we wanted to show you a simple and inexpensive craft you can make to show your Dad how much you care. Nothing says I love you more than a handmade gift!! He is sure to love this Father’s Day Puzzle.

Something we love around here is when we get to use a certain product in a nontraditional way. For this particular craft, we used our Wooden Counting Cubes, which comes in a set of 100. You’ll only need 16 cubes per puzzle, so this is a great group activity since you’ll have enough for 6 puzzles with 1 set.

Materials:
Wooden Cubes
Modge Podge
Paint Brush
Xacto Knife
Sand Paper

Step 1: Align your 16 cubes into a square.

Step 2: Print out your favorite picture of you and your dad and cut it to the size of the square.

Step 3: Paint Modge Podge on to the top of the cubes, position picture accordingly and then paint on more Modge Podge. Make sure to get Modge Podge on all of the edges and corners so the paper is completely coated. Set aside to dry for about a day.

Step 4: Once the Modge Podge is completely dry, separate the cubes by cutting between each with your Xacto Knife. If your craft participants are youngsters, make sure an adult does this step.

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Pineapple Mason Jar

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I don’t know about you, but I love pineapples! Not only are they delicious, but they are an adorable fruit and perfect for inspiring a fun summer craft. I saw a mini pineapple in the grocery store and it gave me a great idea – a Pineapple Mason Jar! It can be used just for decoration or even as a night light. How cute would a pineapple night light be?

Pineapple Mason Jar

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