The Maker Cookbook

Recipes for Children's and 'Tween Library Programs

by Cindy R. Wall and Lynn M. Pawloski
Foreword by Bill Derry


Librarians across America are cooking up creativity. With this book, you can join them—even if you don't have a dedicated makerspace!

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Cover image for The Maker Cookbook

August 2014

Libraries Unlimited

Pages 237
Volumes 1
Size 8 1/2x11
Topics Children's and Young Adult Programs/General

The Maker Movement is hot, and librarians are eager to participate. Even if you feel restricted by budget, staff, or space, this step-by-step guide will help you turn your library into a creativity center.

The Maker Movement is sweeping the nation because it is creative and educational—and a lot of fun. Nonetheless, some librarians have hesitated to incorporate the movement into their programming because their libraries do not have dedicated makerspaces. If that describes you, then take heart. Written by librarians for librarians, this "cookbook" proves that every library is already a MakerPlace and provides you with recipes to make your library come alive with creativity.

Easy-to-use, step-by-step guidance helps you create engaging K–8 programs in science and technology, arts and crafts, and home skills that are perfect for the library setting. The menu of ideas is broken into four types of programming. "Appetizers" add a taste of the Maker movement to existing library programs. "Entrees" present full programs for a lengthy one-day event or a short series. "Side Dishes" are programs you can use if you have limited staff, budget, space, or any combination of those. "Desserts" are low-tech programs, suitable for young children. Each "recipe" includes extensions, variations, and curriculum tie-ins that give you even more ways to present the program ideas, whether to a different audience or as part of other related activities. Programs that involve creating a "Balloon Zip Line," a "Zen Garden," or a "Maker Marketplace" will delight library users and generate activity and excitement in your library.


  • Makes it easy for you to host Maker programs for children and 'tweens—with "No Makerspace Required!"
  • Provides clear, step-by-step directions for creating new Maker programming or adding Maker elements to an existing program
  • Offers alternatives that allow you to customize programs according to the resources available
  • Suggests curricular tie-ins so the programs can be used in a school setting
  • Includes appendices chock full of supplemental materials such as book-discussion questions, checklists, and other reproducible participant handouts
Author Info

Cindy R. Wall, MLS, has been head of Children's Services at the Southington Library and Museum in Connecticut for 10 years. She authored a chapter in Tablet Computers in School Libraries and Classrooms, an American Library Association publication, and she reviews books and apps for School Library Journal. Wall won the Connecticut Library Association Publicity Award and a Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) grant to expand her iPad programming.

Lynn M. Pawloski, MLS, is a children's librarian at the Southington Library and Museum. She holds a master's degree in library science from Southern Connecticut State University and has worked in both school and public libraries. Pawloski enjoys developing new library programs in which children are encouraged to use their imaginations.

Table of Contents

CONTENTS Foreword by Bill Derry

  • Introduction
  • Section 1: Appetizers
  • Chapter 1: Alternate Reality Chapter 2: Balloon Zip Line Chapter 3: Off to the Races! Chapter 4: Cardboard aMAZEment Chapter 5: The Fake Spill Chapter 6: Meteorite Strike!
  • Section 2: Side Dishes
  • Chapter 7: Scratch That Technology Itch Chapter 8: All the World's a Puppet Stage Chapter 9: Look Ma, No Needles! Chapter 10: Zen Garden
  • Section 3: Main Entrees
  • Chapter 11: Maker Open House Chapter 12: Animation Exploration Chapter 13: Necessity is the Mother Nature of Invention Convention Chapter 14: Plastic vs. Plastic Chapter 15: Silent Film Chapter 16: Stop Motion Films Chapter 17: Chalktography Chapter 18: Fairy Tale Theater Chapter 19: It's All about Me Chapter 20: Maker Marketplace Chapter 21: My, What Big Claws You Have Chapter 22: T-Shirt Transfer-mations Chapter 23: Do Play with Your Food Chapter 24: Fondant Game Chapter 25: Food Detectives Chapter 26: Pet Spa Chapter 27: Unheavy Metal
  • Section 4: Desserts
  • Chapter 28: Our Maker Neighborhood Chapter 29: Preschool Drum Corps Chapter 30: Project Planet Chapter 31: Transportation Station Chapter 32: Happy Campers Chapter 33: The Very Healthy Butterfly
  • Section 5: Appendices
  • Appendix A: Book Discussion Questions Appendix B: Letters and Documentation for Parents and Caregivers Appendix C: Handouts for Program Participants Appendix D: Auxiliary Program Materials
  • Index



    "Programs that involve creating a "Balloon Zip Line," a "Zen Garden," or a "Maker Marketplace" will delight library users and generate activity and excitement in your library. Thoroughly 'user friendly' throughout."Midwest Book Review

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