A Peoria Park District Facility

Real Tools and Maker Programs

Maker SPaces and Programs

The Peoria PlayHouse Children's Museum sparks curiosity and creativity in all children. As a unique resource for the greater Peoria area, we foster next-generation problem solvers who will fundamentally change our community and our world.

Family and Maker Workshops

PlayHouse Maker Programs are:

  • Open-ended and process-based. We do not tell children what to make; figuring out what to make is part of the learning process. We are teaching children to identify problems as well as solve them.
  • Tool-based. We teach children how to use tools safely, and how to select the best tool for the job. This helps children learn that there are a wide range of tools available, and how to use tools to their full advantage.
  • Rooted in Exploration. Making is a way to identify and address changes children want to see in designed world. This type of making prepares children to become transformers of their community as adults.

Maker Workshops

Kids and families learn to use tools, experiment with different types of making, and think creatively in PlayHouse Maker Workshops. These workshops are monthly, most often on the first Saturday of the month, and require registration.

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Family Workshops

Real Tools at the Noble Center is even bigger and better than our original PlayHouse space! Join us on select Saturdays to exercise your creativity as a family. Make whatever you want or ask our fantastic staff for inspiration.

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We absolutely loved the sculpture lab! Amelia was completely engaged the entire time. I was too! There was a pretty wide variety of ages; it was amazing to me that the teacher picked activities that each kid could do at their own level. Amelia wants to go to all of the Maker Workshops now!

–Johanna C.

Real Tools

The Real Tools Space is a workshop for open-ended creation. This space is designed for creators and explorers!  

Tinker, draw, sculpt, or engineer something new. Upon entering Real Tools, you are invited to explore the bins and tables for materials and art supplies. You may find soft textiles, bendy wire, and a large variety of objects that promote reuse and sustainability in creative ways. In this space children have created everything from a life-sized flamingo to musical instruments to doll furniture.

At our practice station and workbenches, children have the opportunity to learn how to use wood and hand tools, with a PlayHouse staff member. Tools may include screwdrivers, drills, hammers, and sometimes even saws!

Grown-up supervision is required in the Real Tools space, and protective gear must be worn at all times.

We can't wait to see what you make!

Real Tools
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Real Tools (Option 3)