How to Start a Makerspace

"Rome wasn't built in a day", is an old adage that means that things of greatness take time. 

This to me relates well to how I obtained the items that I use in my Makerspace. I am going into my sixth year of teaching and I am still adding things to my Makerspace. Throughout this blog post, I am going to discuss my opinion on how to create a Makerspace. In a later post, I will talk about how I use my Makerspace. 

Creating a Makerspace 

Please listen when I say that creating a Makerspace will look different for every teacher. The majority of what I have in my Makerspace was donated to me by my friends and family through Donors Choose. 


First, let's talk about the drawers. New to my Makerspace this school year, were the Ikea Trofast drawers. This has made pulling items and organizing items within my Makerspace a LIFE SAVER this year. My students can easily pull the drawers out, take them to the spot where they want to play and then when it is time to clean up, they are able to easily put everything back. I found two of the Trofast drawer systems on Facebook Marketplace and went to Ikea for the third one.  

On either side of the Trofast drawers, you see the 10 drawer rolling cards. The one on the left hand is the only one used for my Makerspace, while the other is to put my weekly copies and materials needed for the week. The drawers on the left hold all my construction paper and I organized them by color. This allows my students to easily find the color that they need. 

On top of my Makerspace, I have a caddy filled with crayons, markers, pencils and glue for students to use when they are creating. My iPads are being stored in two Poppin Paper Holders and I have community scissors that are easily able to be grabbed whenever they were needed. 


As mentioned before, the majority of my materials were donated by friends and family through Donors Choose. I am so thankful that there is a platform like Donors Choose and for supportive friends and family. Do you need to have each and every material I have. ABSOLUTELY NOT.

I will go through the most basic materials I have and then get to the more "techy" items that make appearances. 

1. Paper Towel and Toilet Paper Rolls 
I collected these all summer, so I can fill a drawer of these for my students and the things that they created were so much fun! Instead of recycling them, add them to your space! 

2. Pipe Cleaners, Googly Eyes, Yarn, String, Toothpicks, Feathers and Sequins...OH MY! 
What might sound like a horror (and sometimes it was) are all the materials I have listed above but I have an entire drawer filled with these items. Set clear expectations on what you want to see if students were to use these items in your classroom. For me, if they didn't clean up properly, I didn't let them use them. It is up to you and the expectations you set. In 4th Grade, they have a clear understanding of what you are asking them to do. 

3. Thick Art Paper 
This is different than construction paper. This paper is thicker and prevents bleeding. You can easily use oil pastels with it, water colors and sharpie markers with minimal bleeding on the paper. 

4. Play Dough and/or Modeling Clay
I have a little bit of both in my Makerspace. The Modeling Clay I try to save for modeling concepts but I do let students play with it once and while too. So if you don't want to, per se, waste modeling clay, Play Dough is a cheap and great resource to have as well. You can buy it for $0.50 at Walmart! 

5. Legos 
Legos are the BEST. There are so many different ways to use Legos, that I not only use them for my Makerspace but to teach the concept of erosion, weathering and deposition and even social studies! I have the real OG Legos in one drawer of my Makerspace and in another drawer I have the Target Dollar Spot Legos and Hashtag Blocks. My students love the Hashtag Blocks, so whenever you see them, buy them! 

Some other really great tools are also listed below:
-Keva Planks
-Flexi Straws
-Tinker Toys
-Magna Tiles 

Tech Items 

1. Spheros 
Instead of taking up more space on this post, you can head over to my previous blog post to read and see what Spheros are and how I use them in my classroom. 

2. Ozobots 
I am going to have you go here to read about Ozobots and how I use them in my classroom! 

3. Cubelets 
I will have to say that these are the most annoying tech tool I have but my students LOVE them. They are magnetic coding blocks. Each block is a different color and the colors mean different things. One of the colors make an annoying sound, where another color causes the blocks to move or to flash a light. They are pretty fun and you'll learn how to tune them out. 

4. Dash Robots 
These are the cutest and most simplistic tech tool I have! They are so easy, that I am positive a Kindergarten or First Grade students could code these cute little guys. 

My next post, I will talk about how I use my Makerspace and why it is easily my favorite part of my classroom! If you have any questions, comment below! 

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