Summer is almost here for many of us. It’s a great time to relax, recharge, and reinvigorate our passion for education. I love using my summers to explore creative ideas that I haven’t gotten to throughout the school year.
Whether you’re already knee-deep into makerspaces or just toying with the idea of maybe adding some LEGOs to your library next year, we can all benefit by making time for creative experiences. Here’s a few ideas for things to try to get your creative juices flowing this summer:
Learn a new skill.
Sometimes, as educators, we can forget what it’s like to be a learner. So this summer, take a class! Get a book on that DIY project you’ve been wanting to try. Learn how to do something new. Local makerspaces and hackerspaces are great for things like this. You can learn anything from soldering to programming Arduinos to knitting. There’s tons of great online programs as well, but I recommend finding an in-person class if you can. It’s a great way to meet other makers in your area and network. I’ve got plans to take some weaving classes at Make Me Studio because that’s a skill I’d really like to improve and maybe bring into my maker program next year.
Visit a museum.
Hopefully, there’s an art, science, or children’s museum in your area (or all three!). If not, maybe there is one nearby somewhere you’re traveling to. Go visit some museums, explore the exhibits. Look for ways that you could take ideas from their programming and apply them to your own library. Bonus – look for summer PD programs at art, science, and children’s museums! Many museums often have summer workshops for educators and they can be amazing opportunities.
If you’re going to the ALA Annual Conference in New Orleans, be sure to check out the New Orleans Museum of Art and the Louisiana Children’s Museum. If ISTE is your game, check out The Art Institute of Chicago, The Field Museum, or The Museum of Science and Industry Chicago.
Make stuff with kids.
If you can, take the opportunity to make a creative projects with some kids. If you have kids of your own – awesome! Make some fun summer projects. If you don’t have kids (or they’re too young or too old) borrow someone else’s (with permission, of course). Try making something from the Big Book of Makerspace Projects. Or grab a bin of LEGOs and build together. Learn how to make slime and get messy.
Read a book on creativity.
Summer is my favorite time to catch up on my reading lists. Why not make one or two of those books something that can inspire your creativity? There’s SO many amazing books on creativity out there, you could easily spend months just reading books on the subject. Here’s just a few suggestions to get you started:
- Zig Zag: The Surprising Path to Creativity
- Creative Confidence: Unleashing the Creative Potential within Us All
- Steal Like an Artist: 10 Things Nobody Told You about Being Creative
- Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear
- Creativity: Flow and the Psychology of Discovery and Invention
How do you stay creative over the summer? Tell us in the comments.
Author: Diana Rendina
Diana Rendina, MLIS, is the media specialist at Tampa Preparatory, an independent 6-12 school. She was previously the media specialist at Stewart Middle Magnet School for seven years, where she founded their library makerspace. She is the creator of the blog RenovatedLearning.com & is also a monthly contributor to AASL Knowledge Quest. Diana is the winner of the 2016 ISTE Outstanding Young Educator Award, the 2015 ISTE Librarians Network Award, the 2015 AASL Frances Henne Award & the 2015 SLJ Build Something Bold Award. She is an international speaker on the Maker Movement and learning space design and has presented at conferences including AASL, FETC & ISTE. Diana co-authored Challenge-Based Learning in the School Library Makerspace and is the author of Reimagining Library Spaces: Transform Your Space on Any Budget.