Phil Shapiro is a maker working at a public library in the Washington DC-area. He loves promoting maker culture and volunteering at edcamps and maker faires. He has been volunteering with Philly Maker Faire since 2021. His most recent maker project, Thunk, a game to promote exercise in a non-tiring way, was shown at the Northern Virginia Maker Faire, in 2019. This new series of blog posts, the most playful makers, will spotlight the makers who have tickled Phil’s fancy. For the 2024 Philly Maker Faire, Phil is working on outreach to schools, libraries, homeschoolers, and unschoolers.

Our first playful maker Simone Giertz

Quite often, the most talented makers are also the most playful ones. In this series of blog posts, you’ll meet some of the most playful makers. Let’s start out with Simone Giertz, who has close to 3 million subscribers on her YouTube channel. Her video that charmed me the most is her “proud parent machine,” a machine that encouragingly pats you on the back after your insert a quarter.

Hearing the story of how she figured out the build for this project is both entertaining and instructive.

If you’d like to lend support to Simone, there are several ways of doing that, but the simplest is just to subscribe to her YouTube channel. If you do not yet have a YouTube account, you can create one in less than two minutes using your Gmail account since YouTube is owned by Google.

Note – you do not need to upload your own videos to YouTube to have a YouTube account. It’s perfectly fine to have a YouTube account where you view other people’s videos rather than make your own. Over time, though, you might get a yearning to create and upload your own videos.

From the end of the “proud parent machine” video, Simone shares essential wisdom. “I had so much fun building this. I feel it has taken almost every build thing I know into account. Mechanics, CAD design, woodworking, electronics…”

Take Inspiration from Simone Giertz’ playful making

Take inspiration from Simone Giertz and find a maker project to work on that stretches all of your different skills. Find a maker space and stretch your creative skills together. And in the process of doing all this, be a storyteller. Storytelling is making. Make it a habit to do storytelling every day. Tell the stories of other makers, tell your own making stories, and make up stories.

Simone Giertz Online








Phil Shapiro Online

Open Source

Pairs Math Game




At the Philly Maker Faire