Twirl and friends take Invent Event digital

Making inspires curiosity, creativity, critical thinking

Posted 4/15/20

This week, the Twirl crew should be frantically running around getting ready for our sixth annual Invent Event. This unique Taos maker fair, produced by Twirl with 65 community partners, gives kids and families rich opportunities to play, create and make stuff together at 35-plus hands-on stations.

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Twirl and friends take Invent Event digital

Making inspires curiosity, creativity, critical thinking

Posted

This week, the Twirl crew should be frantically running around getting ready for our sixth annual Invent Event. This unique Taos maker fair, produced by Twirl with 65 community partners, gives kids and families rich opportunities to play, create and make stuff together at 35-plus hands-on stations.

Sadly, we won't be convening 1,200 people in a gymnasium any time soon, but that doesn't mean the show can't go on. Read on for ways you can still participate in some of the fun we had lined up.

On Friday (April 16), Twirl will be hosting a mini Virtual Invent Event live on our Twirl Taos Facebook page from 2 p.m. to 3:15 p.m. Join Nina, Liana and Amber as they guide kids through hands-on projects and tips on how to make cars, marble mazes, chain reactions, simple machines and more.

If you want to work with them as they go, check our Facebook page beforehand for details of what you'll need. But don't worry, the projects will be available to watch again after the live event is over on the Twirl Taos Youtube channel.

While you're there, check out Liana's video tutorial on how to sew your own face mask and see how Amber and her puppet friends were able to help the cow jump over the moon with a simple machine solution.

Children are natural makers -- give a young kid a cardboard box and they'll think of myriad ways to put it to use. Developing that maker mindset is at the heart of Twirl's community outreach programs. Making inspires curiosity, creativity, critical thinking and self-confidence. It allows kids to take control and become absorbed in the process, rather than the product.

They learn to iterate and problem-solve rather than fixating on the right answer. Making fosters resilience and adaptability, which not only prepares kids for a rapidly changing workforce, but - as we are witnessing today - a highly unpredictable world.

How can you facilitate maker learning at home? Provide a space where it's OK for kids to be messy. At least for the time being. Hoard your recyclables - today's yogurt carton is only a few steps away from becoming tomorrow's robot.

Have some basic supplies on hand like glue, markers, paper, scissors, tape (masking tape is perfect for most projects) and then scavenge for the rest. Everything around you is a potential material for making - from found objects in nature to that old jumper you were going to throw away. Buttons, bottle caps, CDs. And yes, even this newspaper!

Finally, step back and let kids take control, unless they want your help. Your helpful idea about the best way to do something might not match their own thinking - so if you have a better idea, make your own. Working alongside your child on projects is a great way to have fun and learn from each other at the same time.

Here are a couple of suggestions on what to do with this newspaper that you can try at home. Or, come up with your own and share your creation on Facebook and Instagram: tag @twirleye and hashtag your photograph #twirltempochallenge #twirlathome.

Kite - it's about to be perfect kite-flying weather

Materials: Newspaper, dowels or sticks, tape, string or ribbon.

Directions: 1. Fold a piece of newspaper into desired kite shape. 2. Tape dowels or sticks to one side of folded shape, giving it cross support. 3. Add a string or ribbon to the end for a tail. 4. Attach string to top and bottom of vertical stick and tie strings together away from kite, leaving one long string to hold on to ... and fly!

Fort - a great chill-out space

Materials: Newspapers, tape.

Directions: 1. Roll up a whole page of newspaper diagonally into a tight tube shape. Tape the ends so it stays closed. Repeat and make lots of them. 2. Use the newspaper tubes to build a fort. Remember a triangle is a very strong shape. Use the tape to connect the tubes together. 3. Continue making connections until your shape is as big as you want. Can you create a fort big enough for your whole family?

* * *

These projects are part of a pamphlet of ideas for making at home with recyclables that went into the first of the Twirl@Home Creativity Bags, along with some basic arts and craft supplies. These went out this week to 200 students served by the Las Cumbres Nurturing Center at Enos Garcia. Thanks Siena, Andy and Connie for your help distributing them.

If you'd like to try more Twirl@Home project ideas, visit twirltaos.org/crafts-activities.

Or, check out twirltaos.org/covid19-resources for great kid maker sites.

Our Twirl@Home Creativity Bags were generously supported by Dimond Mortgage and Randall Lumber and Hardware.

-- Submitted by Twirl

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