A starter set of books every makerspace should have for makers and their families
Even more books are available in the Invent To Learn Bookstore.
- The Art of Tinkering – By Karen Wilkinson and Mike Petrich. This unique book from the San Francisco Exploratorium’s Tinkering Studio is a creative sampler of over 150 projects, exhibits, and insights from the fascinating makers behind them. The book is beautiful and hackable – the cover is printed with conductive ink so you can use it in your own project.
- Howtoons – Comic strip stories and project kits to inspire building, designing, engineering and inventing. (No longer in production. Website is archived. Books are available used.)
- The Big Book of Hacks: 264 Amazing DIY Tech Projects – Really cool and beautifully photographed tech projects ideas for kids and adults alike.
- Unbored: The Essential Field Guide to Serious Fun – A book with a zillion high and low-tech project ideas with suggestions for amusing yourself. Also, Unbored Games and Unbored Adventures.
- Unscrewed: Salvage and Reuse Motors, Gears, Switches, and More from Your Old Electronics – Safely disassemble and reuse parts from old electronics, toys, and appliances.
- 62 Projects to Make with a Dead Computer: (And Other Discarded Electronics) – Computer hacking takes on a whole new meaning when you’re going at it with a screwdriver and hammer.
- The Big Book of Maker Skills (Popular Science): Tools & Techniques for Building Great Tech Projects – This is a practical, nicely organized and illustrated book for beginning makers. It covers not only traditional hand and power tools, but also electronics, robotics, and a bit of advice about fabrication and microcontrollers.
- Tinkerlab: A Hands-On Guide for Little Inventors – 55 playful experiments that encourage tinkering, curiosity, and creative thinking from the creator of Tinkerlab.com—hands-on activities that explore art, science, and more. For children two and up.
- The Best of Instructables Volume I – Do-It-Yourself Projects from the World’s Biggest Show & Tell.
- The Way Things Work Now – Every classroom needs at least one copy of David Macaulay’s beautifully illustrated book of how things work. Updated with the latest in technology developments.
- How Does My Home Work? – The inner workings of a home are laid out for kids ages 5-8 in fun, retro illustrations jam-packed with the technology behind everyday life.
- Smithsonian Maker Lab Series – Beautiful STEM and maker project books from the Smithsonian and DK for kids 8-14.
- Making Things Move DIY Mechanisms for Inventors, Hobbyists, and Artists – Learn how to build moving mechanisms with and without motors. A wealth of clear explanations, examples, and try-it projects. The explanations of different materials and fastening techniques will be referred to often.
- Photojojo!: Insanely Great Photo Projects and DIY Ideas – This book is filled with insanely creative ways to turn your photographs into amazing products and crazy ways to capture photographs you won’t believe. Fun for the whole family!
- Klutz LEGO Books – Klutz has a line of LEGO books that illustrate simple mechanical concepts that may be generalized into larger personal projects.
- Out of the Box: 25 Cardboard Engineering Projects for Makers – 25 creative projects for primary aged children using cardboard and simple recycled materials.
- Jane Bull books – Every one of Jane Bull’s beautiful craft, sewing, cooking, and making books will delight and inspire kids. They all deserve a place in every classroom or maker space library.
- Recycle This Book: 100 Top Children’s Book Authors Tell You How to Go Green – Essays from renowned children’s book authors provide an informative and inspiring call to kids of all ages to understand what’s happening to the environment, and take action in saving our world.
- Steven Caney’s Invention Book – Steve Caney’s books are mostly out of print, but available used online. All his books are full of whimsical projects that are good to have in a makerspace for inspiration.
- 3D Printing Projects – A user friendly family guide to 3D printing from DK.
Books for Families