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Camp Materials

You can host a Maker Camp with just copy paper and craft supplies. Or you can go bigger and buy high-tech equipment. Whatever you choose, our project library has something that will encourage campers to explore and create. Here, we offer some suggestions for gathering materials, items to have on hand, and materials to order.

Materials Lists for Projects

Each project in our library has a materials list which can be found under the Resources tab. Specialty items may have links to make it easier for you to source those materials. The Resources tab also has any templates, worksheets, and printed materials you’ll need for projects.

Sourcing Materials

While many of the project materials are likely already available in your home and/or organization, you may need to buy some items. Luckily the Maker Shed is a great place to find kits designed by makers and educators. We also have a wide variety of books in both print and digital format if you are looking for additional projects or tutorials. Plus you can pick up Maker Camp swag for your campers or guides!

We’ve also partnered with fantastic companies that offer high-quality components and kits. They include:

Makerspace Basics

Every Maker Camp needs the basics. It’s hard to make anything without having something to make with! Here are some items that every camp needs.

  • An Internet connection to access makercamp.com and Make’s Google+ page and a computer, phone, or tablet.

  • A large screen or projector and speakers if you are sharing videos or presentations with a large group of campers.

  • Computers for your campers to use, if available.

  • A webcam and good microphone for virtual programs, if you are hosting them.

  • Basic tools like scissors and rulers plus tools like screwdrivers, wire cutters, pliers, and hobby knives. 

  • Craft supplies like hot glue guns, pipe cleaners, markers, paint, felt, and craft foam.

  • Adhesives like duct tape, masking tape, invisible tape, glue sticks and/or adhesive squares of dots.

  • Tools for advanced projects: soldering iron, drill, handsaw, heat gun.

  • And don’t forget the batteries!

Looking for more ideas? Kathy Ceceri, author of many books on making with kids, shares her tips in A Simple Supply List for Lo-Tech Maker Camp Projects and Beyond.

Free Stuff

Many materials best suited for making are abundant and free. Stock up on scavenged materials. Have the items on-hand for an “invention bin” or “idea box.” Some sites set up a collection box and ask co-workers and friends to contribute. 

All items should be unused or very thoroughly rinsed, clean, nontoxic, non-brittle (e.g. no glass) usable, and pre-sorted. Ask your scavengers to keep them separated in bags and baggies so that you won’t have to re-sort the items. Unsorted items may end up in the trash unused! 

Use your common sense. For example, skip donations of old chicken wire, broken glass, TV sets, blades, and rusty hardware. Also, if there is any text or images (like the paper and the CDs) make sure that it’s all rated-G! If items have weird or obscure logos on them, though, that’s OK! 

Check out our “golden checklist” for scavenged supplies.

Maker Camp June 18, 2021
Maker Camp is a do-it-yourself online resource to help leaders like you organize a summer camp that engages children in making. Our goal is to provide you and your campers with the inspiration and the helpful resources, along with many possible projects to fit a wide range of interests and abilities. The idea is to focus on making as a playful, social activity. Maker Camp provides enough support for anyone to get started. Making provides experiences that help children become self-directed learners and good problem-solvers.
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