There was a definite buzz about Maker Fun at the UK Maker Faire in Newcastle last month. The Maker Fun stand was crowded all weekend, trembling with excitement as the vibrating Glitter Bugs and Bird Bots scurried across the table. A number of Maker Fun Crazy Cases were also on show, which had been decorated with sequins, buttons, fabric pens and E-Textiles circuits! For us, like so many others, Maker Fun was a definite highlight; the combination of craft and technology was deeply inspiring and it was clear that the mini makers were hugely engaged! Since the Maker Faire we’ve been in touch with Jo Claessens, who runs Maker Fun, to find out more…
Vibrating Glitter Bugs and Bird Bots
Let’s begin with your background…
I have two young daughters who love all types of craft and making activities, from leaf printing to Lego. I wanted to get them into digital making and coding so I started thinking about up-skilling their crafting activities by introducing smart materials, electronic components and even programming. I am a busy working Mum so I sort out activities in my spare time and try things out with the kids: mostly at our dining table.
What is Maker Fun all about?
I set up Maker Fun to get kids inventing, designing and making cool stuff for fun! We use crafting activities as a starting point for digital making. We do this by using familiar craft supplies alongside new materials such as conductive thread, LEDs and motors to extend their making projects. We are a non-profit unaffiliated club run by volunteers. Above all, we hope kids will find our sessions fun and creative.
Mini makers getting creative at Maker Faire UK
In December 2013 I hosted my first three Maker Fun sessions at our local library and invited friends. 4 months later we attended our first Maker Faire. It was all hands on deck with my mum helping me put together 100 glitter-bug and bird-bot Maker Fun packs in preparation. Since we started we have delivered more than 220 'makes' to 110 families.
To download your own Maker Fun pack, click here.
Maker Fun's exhibition stand
Crazy Cases and a Maker Fun Pack
What’s next for Maker Fun?
We want to reach 1000 ‘makes’ by the end of the year through our face-to-face events and also through online activities. My husband edits all of the Maker Fun videos on the website and we are hoping to make a series of how-to videos and downloadable sheets to support the next series of events. In this we can support families with making activities who can’t get to our events.
We have just launched a new series of summer events starting in June, which we're super excited about!
Head to Maker Fun's Events Calender and reserve your place now!
For Maker Fun's Pinterest page, click here.
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