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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. March Break Maker 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 hacking stuffed animals to incorporate LED lights or designing laser cut cars to race, 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 to work together to improve their...

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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 |

Almost four years ago now, before ‘the sharing economy’ was a buzz word, our small band of friends came together in Toronto when we met at a meeting for those concerned about 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? The Sharing Economy has since exploded into the mainstream in a big way. Many more people are now participating, while media and news outlets passionately discuss the economic and social impacts of ‘sharing’ on a regular basis – and indeed, the very definition of sharing itself in this new economy. Running a non-profit tool library is no easy task – it’s certainly not as glamorous as Uber or Airbnb. Here are the Top 5 Reasons we put our blood, sweat and tears into encouraging Torontonians to borrow instead of buy: ENVIRONMENT Obviously buying less things means we can reduce the amount of stuff we are dumping into our landfills. In fact, Canada is now producing so much waste efforts are being made to focus on the first of the three Rs: REDUCE. Sharing items with your neighbours 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 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? Well, yes and no. Because so many people are sharing these items together, they can afford to buy more expensive, good quality tools that won’t wear out as quickly. AND at the Toronto Tool Library we have a tool hospital: experts who volunteer their time and skills to fix ‘sick tools.’...

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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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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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The Alternative Holiday Gift Guide

Posted by on Nov 21, 2016 in Slider Home Posts, Tool Blog |

It’s the most wonderful time of the year – the time of year when people go into massive amounts of consumer debt to buy over-the-top gifts for people who probably won’t even use them. What makes this behaviour even more disturbing is the growing body of evidence revealing the detrimental effects of mass  consumerism on the planet. Don’t worry – we’re not the Grinch trying to steal Christmas. We’re simply here to make you think: is there an alternative way to participate in the gift-giving tradition of the Holiday Season without purchasing overpriced, unethically produced goods? YES. Welcome to your alternative gift shopping guide! 1) Community Swaps Participating in community organized swaps is a great way to recycle items you no longer want while picking up new items to give as gifts to friends and family. You don’t have to spend any money and you get to declutter your home simultaneously! You can organize your own swap amongst friends or join larger community run events, such as Toronto’s 4th Annual Alternative Gift Shop – coming up on December 10th and 11th!   2) BUNZ Trading Zone Maybe you’ve got a specific item in mind for that special someone that might be tricky to come across at a community swap. Before you go out and buy it, try finding it on BUNZ Trading Zone instead. BUNZ is an online community trading platform where you can create a post directly asking the community if anyone has the item up for trade (you need to find someone who is already on the BUNZ Facebook page to get added to the group, which is now up to almost 60,000 members). The other option is to get on the BUNZ App, where there is a search bar that will enable you to look for the item you want with a search term (see screenshot below). You can search for items close to you or city wide. BUNZ has never failed me when I’ve been in search of something specific – if you want to get a taste for how it works, read my blog about it here.   3) Make Your Gifts There’s nothing like a unique, handmade gift and with the plethora of DIY sites full of instructions for making all kinds of projects, it’s not all that difficult to make your own. We’ve got a Pinterest Page full of great DIY gift ideas – check them out for a little Holiday giftspiration! If you need access to tools or help learning how to use tools, you can join us at our 1803 Danforth Ave Makerspace for Community Night (this takes place every Wednesday from 7pm-10pm and we have volunteers on hand to help you...

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