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Maker Camp: Heritage Crafts and Skill-Building Projects for Kids

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Classic and innovative hands-on projects for kids ages 3 and up designed to teach both heritage skills and how to think creatively.

Handcraft is part of human we build, we create, we innovate. The 20+ projects in this book from an experienced art educator weave a story of human innovation and creativity, from the very beginnings of building shelters in the woods to tinkering with recycled materials. Heritage skills teach children how to be independent and capable makers; fiber and wood projects offer rewarding crafts that also teach planning, preparation, and safe risk taking; and tinkering activities connect the low-tech process of making and doing with innovation. From soap carving and knot tying to building toy cars and junk robots, this book brings the fun of making things with your hands to young kids and links skills of the past with the present.

The book also explores how to set up a maker space and teaches foundational workshop practices that can easily be applied to the home studio. Each project offers extensions for different ages and abilities and provides guiding questions to enrich the experience for both the maker (teacher/parent) and the apprentice (child) to encourage and celebrate creative, practical play.

176 pages, Hardcover

Published February 23, 2021

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Delanie Holton-Fessler

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Displaying 1 - 10 of 10 reviews
Profile Image for Annie.
3,616 reviews67 followers
January 31, 2021
Originally posted on my blog: Nonstop Reader.

Maker Camp is a cool project book and philosophy guide to heritage crafts and skills by Delanie Holton-Fessler. Due out 23rd Feb 2021 from Roost Books, it's 176 pages and will be available in hardcover and ebook formats.

This is a no-nonsense usable guide to crafting and skill-building tutorials aimed at kids (but with useful takeaways for all ages). The author has experience with community based crafts and skills workshops aimed at kids and it shows. Her instruction is basic, accessible, fun, and full of positivity (you *can* do it and, refreshingly, what to do when it doesn't go to plan). The introduction covers safety, workshop setup, materials, and best practice. The section on shop safety is very well written and full of good advice. There are a lot of good prompts in this section which will guide crafters into thinking about their creative processes and using what they've learned to improve further skills and outcomes.

The following chapters contain the tutorials and are arranged roughly thematically: heritage skills (shelter, soap carving, fire-making, bows & arrows, herbal salves), fiber arts (weaving, creating cording, mending, hand sewing a stuffie, natural dyes), woodworking (toolbox, bee hotel, limberjacks, toy cars, 2x4 challenge), and tinker build & play (junk robots, tiny town, simple machines, mini kites, cardboard creators). These are appealing and whimsical, useful and do-able crafts and skills.

This is a really useful resource guide for parents, educators, child-minders, grandparents, makers' and scouting groups, library activity groups, and the like. Some of these activities would really work fine over remote meeting/zoom (with adult supervision, obviously). A lot of these projects result in useful items (bee hotel, construction projects, and others) and will give kids confidence, planning experience, and skills.

Five stars. Well worth a look. 12 year old me would've absolutely *loved* this book.

Disclosure: I received an ARC at no cost from the author/publisher for review purposes.
Profile Image for Sarah.
204 reviews2 followers
November 18, 2020
Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for an electronic copy to read and review.

This is an excellent resource book for school and adults who would like to incorporate maker spaces and outdoor learning into their child's curriculum. As an elementary teacher I love the set up of the book - how to get started, things to think about, and how the chapters are divided into skill sets. There are fabulous ideas to try and test out and you don't have to do them all - you can select which ones are best for your class and the resources that you have at hand.

There are so many ties to traditional curriculum that I can see this book being useful for all sort of educational settings, from daycare to high school. I will definitely be purchasing a physical copy to add to my professional library.
Profile Image for Deborah Fontaine.
238 reviews19 followers
December 2, 2021
⭐️ ⭐️⭐️/5

Makers Camp stresses the importance of creativity and making. It doesn’t matter if your child is perfect or just having fun, all that matters is the experience.

That being said, a lot of the examples in this book are hard to accomplish if you’re not in a rural area or have a stock pile of random supplies.

The age range is 3 to 11 which I would put the age range higher to 5 to 11. These are not unsupervised projects and they don’t claim to be. They are meant to be done together, where kids are free to experiment, safely.

Thank you to Roost Books for a copy for my honest and unbiased opinion.
14 reviews1 follower
December 15, 2021
Maker Camp is brilliant. Is there anything else out on the market that covers historical crafts for children and parents to work on together? I don't think so! The author, Delanie Holton Fessler offers a variety of ideas that make learning not just fun, but also memorable because the projects are hands on, not just something to read about. This is a book to keep close by because you will want to return to it over and over again! I hope there will be more from this author!
119 reviews3 followers
January 26, 2022
This is a great book for children's to learn how to make useful projects with their hands. The book has directions for fiber arts projects, woodworking, and tinker build and play. It is important for kids as well as adults to work with their hands. This book will help guide kids to work with and use their hands to build and create. I recommend this book.

Thank you to Delaine Holton-Fessler and Good Reads for this great book.
2 reviews
December 14, 2021
This is a terrific book and guide, written by someone who has clearly been working in the field and knows what she’s talking about. Fun ideas, clear instructions, presented engagingly and organized in a way that makes sense. It’s just a super resource for parents, educators, and anyone who wants to guide kids in exploring making.
4 reviews
December 14, 2021
I consider myself a crafty mom but don't have great ideas or know how to link them to skill building. This book is an amazing, accessible guide to doing great work with kids. And without a bunch of supplies. I imagine it would be amazing for educators and counselors. Highly recommend.
December 16, 2021
A must have for anyone with children, especially if you are like me and not super crafty. The author makes each craft and experience attainable and enjoyable. It's aesthetically beautiful and fun to flip through to get inspired. What a treasure! Thank you to the author.
Displaying 1 - 10 of 10 reviews

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