Why I Let My Kids Fail

"You are the best person for this event bar none!!"

-My Mom

That's my mom for ya. Always supportive, always encouraging... but not always right. My siblings and I still joke about the time my little sister tried out for the part of Annie in the school musical and instead got the part of a homeless person with one line. I mean, I'm sure my mom saw that coming a mile away but instead of cautioning my sister to avoid an inevitable failure, she let her have the experience and figure it out for herself. And guess what? It wasn’t a failure at all. My sister loved being a part of the musical, made great friends, and figured out on her own that her true talents probably lie elsewhere.

I realized something about my mom's unshakable positivity. As a kid, I just thought she was the eternal optimist who had complete faith in my success. And so I tried a lot of things, failed at some, had fun with others, and fell in love with a select few.

What I know now is that my mom encouraged us to pursue our interests not because she had faith that we would succeed, but because she trusted that we would be able to handle it if we didn't.

Not only that, but we were bound to stumble upon something great if we just kept trying. She wasn’t just teaching us optimism, she was teaching us fearlessness and confidence. In spite of all the inevitable fails, ultimately her way of parenting allowed me and my three siblings to discover our own talents and to pursue four very different careers which we each feel we were destined for.

It doesn't matter if your child gets the part of "Homeless Woman #4" when she wanted to star as Annie; there is value in exploring, learning new skills, and being in an environment that challenges a kid to think differently. Sometimes I think this is harder for parents than for kids, but like my mom, we need to believe in our kids' ability to persevere more than we believe in their ability to succeed. We need to care about the experience as much as the score, the grade, or the role. How else are our kids supposed to discover the parts of themselves and the parts of the world that invigorate and inspire them?

My mom is not afraid of failure, so she is the person who I call when I am. When I had my first workshop a year and a half ago, I had no idea if it would succeed. And to be honest I probably wasn't "The best person for this event bar none!!" at the time as my mom had promised. But that one sentence made me realize that I wanted to be. All I needed was someone to believe that I should try.

One of my goals with Maker Monkey is to help your kids build the confidence they need to overcome fear, work through challenges, and try new things just like my mom did for me. The only difference is that I’m doing it with tools. At my workshops your kids will pick up their hammers, they'll build something with their own hands, and I hope they'll leave with a sense of pride and confidence that has them asking themselves: "What can I conquer next?"

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We do things differently.


Maker Monkey is about so much more than arts and crafts. The toys and activities we share with our kids now will influence the way they interact with the world around them in the future. As a kid, I enjoyed building my own dollhouse with my dad in his workshop as much as I enjoyed playing with the dolls that came with it. My parents taught me an important lesson about gender-equality simply by letting me be me.


As a female-founded building company, I am all about defying gender stereotypes and encouraging kids to explore their interests even when they are unconventional. 


Behind every Maker Monkey project is the desire to get kids to feel the sensitivity of an artist as much as the strength of a builder without categorizing either as being exclusively masculine or exclusively feminine.


We care deeply about the little souls we build with, which means we also need to take care of the world that they are inheriting. All Maker Monkey Building Kits are proudly handmade in Miami, FL from responsibly sourced upcycled wood and we use as little plastic as possible in our packaging. Our goal is to protect and preserve our resources while teaching our kids to do the same.

My Mantra is: "Do good doing what you love." In other words, be yourself and take care of the people and world around you. This takes courage, creativity... and sometimes a hammer.

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Call | Text: 310-508-4186 
email: ​sarah@makermonkeyworkshop.com

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