Wanted: Puppet Parts and Life with a Maker

While most kids are scouring the internet and pages of “black friday” sales for the hottest toys of 2013, our Braeden doesn’t get into that. He doesn’t care for purchased toys at all and insists upon making them himself. We can walk through the toy aisle at any given moment and the kid won’t even flinch. He’s not amused. Last year, the only thing that he asked for was an ipad mini because it served as his immediate window to creativity. It captures the things that he wants to create. He creates with it and lately he’s been blogging his work. Now, life is entirely centered around puppetry which may change again, but for us…we live in “the now” and THIS is it! When you have a “maker”, that’s important.

Braeden doesn’t just start random projects. He throws himself all in through research and constant learning via youtube. This is where he finds his inspiration. Through research, he opened himself up to techniques that would not have been possible without his device. He also found a neat website that enabled him to design the muppet that he wanted and have it made. Of course, he wants that too…for the bargain price of $99.99. He says that he will continue to make his own puppets but he at least wants a professional one which, by the way, opened him up to the idea of “making” for a living. He had no idea that anyone could do this.

Braeden located the website of a real puppeteer…James Kemp. (The baby monster is his favorite) I almost cried when he explained that I needed to go to the search bar, type in baby monster and click the article “Baby Monster Completion“! Being a researcher is AWESOME!

I’ve learned so much through being a silent observer. We don’t ask him to “make” anything nor do we sit him in front of a collection of things that we buy expecting him to just “make”. Everything that he does comes from his own imagination. We encourage it by trying to provide the tools necessary when needed AFTER he decides that he needs it. The space to do so is his own. His “makerspace” is his imagination.

What has he learned from making? He sums it up in his favorite question and statement…

“Auntie has your mistake happened today yet? We all make them. If you pressed backspace, you made a mistake. We all make them everyday. When you make mistakes, you just have to get it wrong and do it all over again. Just remember, that when you hit backspace….you get to go back and press the letter that you wanted.”

In case you’re wondering, below is Braeden’s Christmas list…

Faux fur (orange, green, and red)
Fleece (tan and any other color)
Material (like felt) red, black and pink
Foam Rubber (???)
Ping pong balls (white and yellow and any other color that they come in)
Green screen
Ostrich feathers (fake ones)
Feather boas
Long black craft sticks for rods
Good Scissors
Good glue
Magic Markers
Muppet Whatnot (pictured)


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