A Peoria Park District Facility

Maker Programs

The mission of the Peoria PlayHouse Children’s Museum is to help children become explorers and creators of the world. Maker Programs are focused on helping children become confident and creative young makers. Learn more here about the benefits of Maker Programs.

Summer Maker Program

The PlayHouse's Summer Maker Program is now virtual! Complete at least 14 of our 16 maker challenges between May 1 and August 30 and be entered into a raffle to win an exclusive, two-hour session at the Peoria PlayHouse Children's Museum just for you and your family! (Pending city, state, and Park District policies, we may be able to allow you to invite a few friends, too.... stay tuned.)

Not sure how to do all of these challenges? Each week we will share some instructions on one of the challenges. Visit this page weekly for links.

2020 Summer Maker Map DRAFT 2

Real Tools

This circular room, just behind the museum’s main entrance, is filled with work benches, stools, and bin after bin of materials: wood and wood scraps, different types of plastic, cork, cardboard, tape, fabric, hardware. Each work station is stocked with hammers, screwdrivers, and pliers, but children can also ask for saws, drills, glue guns, box cutters, wood burning tools, and more. In this space children have created everything from a life-sized flamingo to musical instruments to doll furniture.

An effective makerspace teaches children not only how to make, but how to invent. It teaches them to solve problems, and also compels them to find the problems that they want to solve. It challenges them not only to learn to use tools, but to identify the best tools for the task they want to complete. Each child is working on something different, which is what allows makerspaces to foster innovation and creativity.

Real Tools is made possible in part by the Institute of Museum and Library Services.


Additional Maker Programs


Maker Workshops

Kids and families learn to use tools, experiment with different types of making, and think creatively in PlayHouse Maker Workshops. This program is designed for kids 3-12 years old. All children under 8 must be accompanied by an adult. Registration is required and closes the Wednesday prior to the workshop. Maker Workshops are offered on select Saturdays from 2-4pm.

We made this!

Maker Resources

River City Labs is our local maker space for adults and older children. They have family memberships, as well as individual memberships for adults. Check out their website.

Teacher Tuesdays, run by the University of Illinois Extension, is a consortium of maker-related organizations and committed educators. More information can be found here.



The Peoria PlayHouse Children's Museum

The Peoria PlayHouse Children's Museum