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Top 5 Reasons Every Child Should Be A Maker

Posted by on Feb 8, 2017 in Slider Home Posts, Tool Blog |

Tinkering, making, creating and playing. These activities are finally being recognized for what they are – an essential part of a child’s education and development. The Maker Education Revolution that began in Makerspaces across the world over 10 years ago is finally breaking down the barriers into the mainstream – and into our classrooms. And that is a very good thing for our communities and our planet. Maker Summer Camp! A Maker Education:   1) Promotes a ‘Growth Mindset’ Author and psychologist Carol Dweck proposes two mindsets that the growing brain can take on – one is called the fixed mindset and one is called the growth mindset. When children take on a fixed mindset, they believe that they are good at some things and not others and that their skills just come to them naturally. With a growth mindset, the learner believes that they can become good at something through doing, learning, experience, etc. Learning and development is something you work at, not something that just happens. Children who have developed a growth mindset tend to be more resilient, handling challenges better and pushing themselves passed obstacles. Maker education fosters this Growth Mindset because of it’s emphasis on not knowing the solution to a problem and then developing and learning through the process:  “It’s not just a matter of what you know, it’s a matter of taking risks and perhaps failing and learning from those failures.” Learning how to fail – and subsequently picking yourself up, reflecting and trying again – is a crucial skill for navigating our constantly changing world.   2) Develops Character and Purpose Learning-by-doing not only helps children become resilient in the face of challenges, it also works to develop character and a sense of purpose: “That is one of the most important outcomes a maker educator sees…Learning how to make things, being involved in maker-centered education, helps young people develop a sense of agency in the world, a sense that they can change the world.” At the heart of making is the concept that all students are creators. Rather than memorizing facts to regurgitate on a test, young makers are encouraged to bring what they know to a problem in order to solve it or to use their skills to design and build a project. Whether it’s designing and building a pinball machine from scratch or bringing to life a computer-generated design on a 3D Printer, these activities are important precisely for the reason that they instil a sense of confidence in the child’s ability to act on their environment.   3) Deepens Social and Emotional Skills Not only does making help children learn to effectively problem-solve, it teaches them to effectively problem-solve TOGETHER. Maker education places a big emphasis on collaboration. Children are encouraged...

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It’s About A Lot More Than Borrowing Tools

Posted by on Feb 7, 2017 in Slider Home Posts, Tool Blog |

Nearly 5 years ago now, before ‘the sharing economy’ was a buzz word, our small band of friends came together in Toronto over a concern for the state of the world – poverty, the environment, mental health, discrimination, war, debt. We wanted to solve ALL the problems. Not long after meeting, we learned about a Tool Lending Library in Vancouver and thought that maybe this would be a good place to start for Toronto as well: If we could inspire people to share tools, could the sharing movement expand in a way that would make a real difference in reducing over-consumption of goods while increasing access to what people need? Now four years later, the answer seems to be coming up yes. Last year we opened Canada’s first ever Library of Things, The Sharing Depot, and now, our small but growing team of board members and volunteers are currently in the midst of opening our fourth location in the city at 830 St. Clair West. This location will include not just a tool library, but a Sharing Depot and a permanent space for the Repair Cafe Toronto! Learn More About St. Clair West! Running a non-profit tool library is no easy task – it takes a massive volunteer effort as any money made goes back into running the library. We wanted to take a moment to tell you a little bit about why we do what we do: ENVIRONMENT Buying less stuff means we can reduce the amount we are dumping into our landfills. Canada, due to its overwhelming waste problem, is now shifting its waste management strategy in this direction with an emphasis on the first of the three Rs: REDUCE. Sharing items within a community is a great way to reduce unnecessary consumption. If you imagine the amount of energy and materials that go into making and distributing a single tool (the oil and rare metals used to create it, the gas used to ship it all over the world, the packaging it comes in, etc.) you can imagine how effective it would be if one drill was being used by a community rather than sitting in every household’s basement. The mass, private ownership of tools makes little social sense when we consider that most domestic power tools are used for just 10% of the time they are designed to last and spend the rest of their lives depreciating in basements and storage units. THE CIRCULAR ECONOMY The devil’s advocate might ask: but if so many people are using a single tool, won’t that wear the tool out faster rendering it useless and in need of quicker replacement? While many things are not built with longevity in mind (cheap materials and poor construction contribute...

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March Break Maker Camp with TTLkids!

Posted by on Feb 6, 2017 in Slider Home Posts, Tool Blog |

We are thrilled to be offering an exciting array of workshops for Young Makers this March Break with TTLkids! We’ve got all the basic covered: electronics, 3D printing, laser cutting, woodworking and robotics. Register your Young Maker for the whole week OR choose workshops individually. Keep those creative minds engaged over the break and give your kids something to show and tell when they get back to school!      See The Programs Register...

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Going Zero Waste – A Guide For Toronto

Posted by on Feb 2, 2017 in Slider Home Posts, Tool Blog |

Following Bulk Barn’s recent announcement last week that they will now be making their reusable container program company policy across all locations (YAAS!), it seems the zero waste train in Canada is more than ready to leave the station. There are even rumours that Toronto will (finally) be getting the zero waste grocery store we’ve all been dreaming about for years (I mean come on Toronto, Montreal already has zero waste grocery stores and so does Vancouver). The zero waste movement is the answer we’ve been looking for in Canada for our serious (and embarrassing) waste problem. For those of you considering putting your garbage can on a diet and jumping aboard that zero waste train, here’s a handy list from someone who has been easing her way into a zero waste lifestyle (slowly) for a few years now. These are 11 things I recommend for those first staring out:   1) Don’t Start With A Jar Challenge  The zero waste movement was really launched into the mainstream a few years back with several flashy stories about bloggers who were taking the ‘jar challenge’ – they would only make enough trash to fill a single mason jar over the course of a year (Lauren Singer of Trash Is For Tossers can now boast TWO years of trash in a single jar). I considered starting my zero waste journey like this, but began having panic attacks and feared I would fill the jar only with tears of failure if I tried this now. After speaking with several Toronto bloggers, it seems the main barrier for starting a zero waste journey is the sense that it will be difficult. If this is how you feel, my advice is to find a place from which to launch and take baby steps. My launching place was the birth of my daughter 3 years ago. I made the conscious choice to use cloth diapers, which I purchased second hand on Kijiji. Pick one for yourself and see where it takes you.   2) Remember ‘The Five PillaRs’ Every movement needs a mantra and zero wasters are no exception to this rule. Pare Down, the Toronto-based family blazing the zero waste trail in this city, recommends keeping these five Rs close to your heart – and I agree. These will help keep you on track as you start transitioning your way into a zero waste lifestyle: The Five PillaRs Refuse what you do not need. Reduce what you do need. Reuse everything you can. Recycle what you cannot Refuse, Reduce or Reuse. Rot the rest.   3) Never Leave The House Unprepared In the beginning, I found a lot of my slip ups happened because I was not prepared – I would forget my reusable bag, my glass jars, my coffee cup. Now when...

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The Forgotten R: 7 Ways To Refuse This Holiday Season

Posted by on Dec 14, 2016 in Tool Blog |

The City of Toronto recently began distributing it’s waste management guide and collection schedule for 2017. If you are lucky like us, you already received yours in the mail. But before you switch over to the new year, the city of Toronto included a Holiday Campaign for the month of December 2016 encouraging people to Reduce, Reuse and Recycle correctly over the Holiday Season. While this is most excellent, we are reminded that the education around waste reduction has been stuck on the three Rs for quite some time now. If we want to shift our waste management strategy to a Zero Waste approach (as recommended by Toronto Environmental Alliance) there is a bigger, badder sister to the three Rs that we can call upon. Her name is R E F U S E. While it’s great to reduce consumption, reuse items where you can and recycle things properly, it’s also awesome to just not buy offensive culprits of waste in the first place. So here’s our edition to those of you looking to approach zero waste status. Happy Holidays from the Toronto Tool Library! 1) Avoid Excessive Packaging Whether you are looking for Holiday gifts, food items or out and about enjoying the Toronto Christmas Market shenanigans, say no packaging. Try to avoid products wrapped in excessive plastic and bring reusable shopping bags with you for gifts and groceries. Shop at the select Bulk Barns in the city that are conducting a pilot program to allow shoppers to bring their own reusable containers. Carry a reusable mug with you at all times for your candy cane hot chocolate (here’s a most amazing collapsible mug that will fit in your pocket). GREEN TIP: shop or swap for gifts second hand to avoid the waste involved in producing, shipping and packaging items new. Use BUNZ Trading Zone to swap for gifts. BUNZ Trading Zone has branched out from its beginnings as a Facebook page for community trades into a fully fledged app with a search bar. You can actually search for the exact item you are looking for and then meet up with the person in Toronto who has it. They are currently using the hashtag #GiftIt on their app to signify items that are giftable (new/like new or #BNIB – brand new in box).   2) Avoid Cheaply Made Products as Gifts At this point, we are all aware of the negative effects that mass, excessive consumption has on our planet. The cheaply made goods that look so pretty in window displays and colourful advertisements are not made to last. They break down and fall apart in no time and live out the rest of their non-biodegradable lives in landfills, leaching harmful chemicals and dyes into the...

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Holiday Membership Deal

Posted by on Nov 24, 2016 in Slider Home Posts, Tool Blog |

Happy Holidays from the Toronto Tool Library! Why give them one tool when you could give them 5,000+ tools with a Membership to the Toronto Tool Library? To celebrate the generous spirit of the Holiday Season, we are offering a Toronto Tool Library and Sharing Depot Membership deal: From now through the month of December, when you purchase or renew a Membership to the Toronto Tool Library, you will receive 50% off a membership of equal value to The Sharing Depot, Canada’s first Library of Things! For example, if you purchase a High-Five Membership valued at $100, you will receive 50% off a High-Five Membership to The Sharing Depot. We will give you a Laser Cut Gift Certificate (pick up at one of our locations after December 1st) to put under the tree if you are purchasing the membership as a gift for a friend or family member! Casual Tool Library and Sharing Depot Holiday DealFrequent Tool Library and Sharing Depot Holiday DealHigh Five TTL and Sharing Depot Holiday DealCasual TTL MembershipFrequent TTL MembershipHigh Five TTL MembershipOrganization TTL MembershipHave a coupon?Apply (remove) Pay with Card...

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