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Tinkerlab by Rachelle Doorley is a very helpful book for the young inventor. The full title is A Hands on Guide Tinkerlab for Little Inventors, 55 Playful Experiments that Engage Thinking, Curiosity & Creative Thinking. This book was the May 2016 Montessori on a Budget (MOAB) book club selection. *Note: I bought my own copy.
Tinkerlab: A Hands on Guide Tinkerlab for Little Inventors, 55 Playful Experiments that Engage Thinking, Curiosity & Creative Thinking

You’ve probably seen the pictures on Pinterest and maybe other social media, but perhaps didn’t realize the activities were Tinkerlab. What is Tinkerlab? Maybe you have heard about Tinkerlab classes or activity events in your area. What is the difference between Tinkerlab and loose parts? Minnesota even has Teen Tinker Lab events, and I’m sure events and classes are available in many states. If you want to know more, this book will make it easy to set up this kind of learning in your own home or classroom as a special event for indoor recess. The book has 55 activities for children to explore their world with creative experiments with easy to find materials.

Tinkerlab by Rachelle Doorley

book review and Tinker-lab-possible-supplies

RACHELLE DOORLEY, the author, is an arts educator, community builder, and founder of the popular creativity blog Tinkerlab. She studied costume design at the University of California, Los Angeles, and worked on Hollywood films before finding her true calling as an arts educator. She has a wonderful understanding of the capabilities young children have and helps bring out their inner-inventors.

The habits of mind for Tinkerlab include things like finding needs and seeing mistakes as gifts. The mindset for creating a space for tinkering is a prerequisite for beginning this adventure. Then, of course, the tools and mechanics of the setup organization are required. However, the tools are inexpensive and include things like cardboard and tape. Recycled items may find reuse and a new purpose in the workspace. The activities need not be expensive. You will look at the recycling bin with new eyes!

Engaging Activities

Watercolor experiments (yes, experiments) are included. An invitation to learn as in setting the stage or providing a provocation for learning is suggested. Drawing games, art recipes, and detailed information for activities such as marbleizing paper with paint and oil are explained. Three-dimensional projects and building activities with loose parts are provided with explanations. Suggestions for ropes and pulleys are given, too. STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math) ideas that children can actually do are impressive. All the activities are well illustrated with photographs.

Some of these ideas can be completed in the kitchen (edible science), some will be fun outdoors, and some will be great for rainy inside days. Parents can pick and choose but their children will catch the spirit and be thinking of their own ideas in no time!

Thank you for reading, Carolyn

You might also like my Loose Parts Inspiring Play in Young Children post.


The loose parts free download for literacy and math learning outdoors might be of interest, also.

Loose Parts Outdoor Academic Learning

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