An Ode to the Complete Do-It-Yourself Manual
The Complete Do-it-yourself Manual
When I was growing up, the 1973 edition of the Reader’s Digest Complete Do-it-yourself Manual sat on a shelf in our garage. I was born in 1984, so the book was well over a decade old by the time I was reading it. I wasn’t really that into the handyman section – replacing gutters isn’t very exciting to a kid. But I would pore over all of the cool projects in this book. I would “borrow” my dad’s handtools and make creations out of scrap wood. I would dream of one day building a perfect tree house from scratch. Or building a beautiful toy chest or doll house. I would mess around in our yard and garage, making weird structures that often didn’t really serve much purpose – a one person see saw, a strap to steer my wagon better down hills, a bridge to cross over puddles in our yard. My parents gave me the space to use my imagination and mess around, and I’m forever grateful for that. My dad’s copy of the Complete Do-it-yourself manual now sits in my home office, and every time I see it, I’m reminded of those important creative experiences I had as a child.My parents gave me the space to use my imagination & mess around & I'm forever grateful. Click To Tweet
Inspiring Creativity in our students
Reflecting back on this got me thinking about how we can inspire this kind of creativity in our students. How we need to build up a collection of maker related books to inspire our students with project ideas. How we need to cultivate an atmosphere where students feel safe to mess around, try new things and use their imaginations. Where they can both follow guided projects to learn new skills and explore and experiment on their own. Where they don’t have to worry about judgement or criticism from adults or peers.
Think about your library space – does it inspire this kind of creativity in your students? If not, how can you get it there?
(By the way, Reader’s Digest is still publishing new editions of the Complete Do-it-yourself Manual, but I haven’t read the newer ones)