Egg | Creative Challenge for Kids

TinkerLab's Creative Challenge for Kids | The EGG Challenge

Welcome to our 10th Creative Challenge for Kids! Tenth! The key supply for this challenge is the egg: children are invited to make, build, experiment with, and tinker with eggs. While adults are welcome to facilitate and play along, the process and results are up to the child.

TinkerLab's Creative Challenge for Kids | The EGG Challenge

Welcome to everyone who is joining our Creative Challenge this month. We’re so glad that you’re here! If you’re wondering what this is all about, this is where you can read all the details about this Creative Challenge, including how to play along and enter your project.

What is the Creative Challenge for Kids Project?

These bi-monthly challenges invite kids to create, make, and invent whatever they can imagine using a common material as inspiration. While Creative Challenge projects should be child-driven, adults are welcome to join the fun as helpful side-kicks.

The objective of these challenges is to encourage children to explore a material’s potential, build creative confidence, act like inventors, and envision new purposes for common objects…. skills that are at the heart of innovation.

Who is this for?

This challenge is open to anyone who wants to play! While we invite bloggers and anyone with access to a photo-sharing site to share a link to their entry, you don’t have to be a blogger to join us. If you want to run this challenge in your home or school, the entries shared at the bottom of this post might serve as inspiration to you.

Grab a Button

TinkerLab Creative ChallengeIf you’d like to add a Creative Challenge button to your post or sidebar, simply drag this image to your desktop and place it anywhere on your site. If you want to connect it back to our site, you could link it to this page: This 200 x 200 pixel button should show up as you see it here.

Share your Challenge Entry

Once you’ve read all the rules and details, you can enter a link to your project here. This challenge will run from April 1 – April 30, 2014. Of course, you can still run this experiment after this window closes, but we won’t be able to accept further entries after April 30. After you link up your post, we’d like to encourage you to be a supportive participant by popping around to a few of the other posts to leave some comments.

Process Trumps Product

Keep in mind that these posts might not show super-glossy Pinterest-worthy projects because they celebrate the process of working through personal ideas more than the end result. These projects are sure to be packed with meaning and intent, in some instances more than perfection. I wish I could personally congratulate each participating child for devising their own plan and executing on it. Bravo!

Next Creative Challenge

We’ll see you in June for Creative Challenge #11: String

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Join the Egg Creative Challenge for Kids

TinkerLab Creative Challenge - Eggs - April 2014

Join over 50 Creative Bloggers in the the TinkerLab Creative Challenge, April 1-30, 2014. Full details in the post.

TinkerLab is proud to host a bi-monthly Creative Challenge for kids that invites children to create, make, and invent using a common material as inspiration.

The objective of these challenges is to encourage children to explore a material’s potential, build creative confidence, act like inventors, and envision new purposes for common objects…. skills that are at the heart of innovation.

While Creative Challenge projects should be child-driven, adults are welcome to join the fun as helpful side-kicks. 

Our next Creative Challenge is coming up soon: April 1 – April 30, 2014.

Join over 50 Creative Bloggers in the the TinkerLab Creative Challenge, April 1-30, 2014. Full details in the post.

Will you join the next Creative Challenge?

If you’d like to join this next challenge, plan to come back on the posted date (the next challenge will run from April 1-30, 2014) with a link to your blog post or documentation of your kid/s in action.

  • Bloggers: If you’re a blogger, write a blog post to go live between April 1 and April 30, 2014, and then head over here to add a link on TinkerLab.
  • Non-bloggers: If you don’t have a blog, take a photo of your project and tag it on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram (my favorite) with #creativekidschallenge and we’ll find you!

Should I join? Is this for me?

You might be wondering if this is worth your time. Well, here are some of the reasons to join in…

  1. Your child will most likely enjoy the process of designing his or her own project, and self-directed projects encourage confidence and critical thinking skills.
  2. You’ll enjoy sharing with all the other Creative Challenge participants. It’s really fun to see how people interpret the same materials in different ways.
  3. We will start a new Pinterest board for this challenge and all eligible entries will be shared there. We reserve the right to share images that align with our brand.
  4. If you’re a blogger, you’ll probably enjoy a boost in traffic.

Could we use real eggs?

We’ll leave this up to you. You could use real eggs, plastic eggs, wooden eggs, or make drawings of eggs. You could play a game, make a painting, cook a meal, or run a science experiment. Since this project is child-driven, we’d hate to limit the imagination. Think of the egg as a helpful starting point.

Okay, I’m in! What do I need to do?TinkerLab Creative Challenge

  1. Gather your materials
  2. Talk to your child about his or her plan
  3. The project should be child-led, although adults are quite welcome to join in
  4. Run the project
  5. Document it
  6. Share it between April 1 and April 30, 2014. We’ll post a Linky on our site.
  7. Grab a button and share it in your post!

Got it! Can you give us some ideas to help us get started?

Sure! You could:

  • Paint with the egg
  • Build a structure from multiple eggs
  • Draw on the egg with a permanent marker
  • Fill the egg with a mini diorama
  • Make prints with the circle edge of a half-egg
  • Take photographs of eggs
  • Make your own egg tempera paint and then do something with that

Join our Facebook Group

Exciting news…50 talented bloggers have already signed up to join this challenge! If you’d like to join our Facebook group, request to join here.

Creative Challenge: Flowers


It’s time for another round of CREATIVE CHALLENGE MADNESS. Okay, so this isn’t exactly a madness hot spot, but the creative challenges always bring out the best in bloggers and generate a lot of enthusiasm. Oh, and this is the TENTH Creative Challenge. Dang.

creative challenge flowers

I like them because I get a thrill from watching creative people reinvent and play with the same material in numerous ways. In April, little ones got busy creating and inventing with egg cartons, and this month our creative challenge material is flowers.

The challenges are open-ended in order to leave room for multiple interpretations. Projects can include fresh flowers, dried flowers, fake flowers, flower stickers, etc. The only requirement is that the post should document an activity that’s child-centered, child directed, and/or process-oriented. Adults can join in, but they shouldn’t lead the activity.

Why is this important?

The idea behind these challenges is to support creative thinking by encouraging children to initiate and follow through on their own ideas. Children who learn how to think for themselves, pose problems that they can solve, and explore ideas that interest them will be better prepared to deal with the challenges of an unforeseeable future.

I’ll give you a sampling of the projects in this challenge, and then you can scroll through ALL of them in the link round-up below.

Flower Stencil Spray Painting: Make stencils from fake (or real) flowers and spray them with paint. From Deborah at Learn with Play.

fine motor skills flower plucking

Fine Motor Flower Fun: Deborah from Teach Preschool shows us how to build fine motor skills and encourage close looking with magnifying glasses.

outdoor nature collage

Outdoor Nature Collage: Melissa from The Chocolate Muffin Tree writes about her daughter’s self-initiated nature collages with flowers and leaves. In Melissa’s words, “This was my daughter’s idea.  I gave her some scrap matte board and white glue and she went to town! Busy for about 1/2 hour.  Lately it has been difficult to get C into making things and this definitely sparked her interest. If it is “her idea” she is more likely to create…maybe it is just those 5 1/2 year olds?”

For my contribution, my daughter collected flowers petals and leaves from the garden and pressed them between two sheets of clear contact paper. We have a ginormous roll of contact paper that comes out a lot, and she created a contact paper collage winter scene a few months ago and she must have remembered the process.

For this fabulous installment, I bring you twenty-five dedicated and talented kid bloggers whose children have taken the challenge to create something with or from flowers.

Rainy Day Mum *  Learn with Play *  Hands On: As We Grow  * Creative Playhouse  * Smiling Like Sunshine *  Growing a Jeweled Rose *  A Mom with a Lesson Plan  * Carrots Are Orange  *  Montessori Tidbits  *  The Educators’ Spin On It  *  Nurture Store  *  Kitchen Counter Chronicles    Experimenting Mom  *  Imagination Soup  *  Glittering Muffins  *  Famiglia and Seoul    Inspiration Laboratories  * The Golden Gleam *   The Good Long Road *  The Chocolate Muffin Tree  *  The Outlaw Mom *  Play Dr. Mom  *  Familylicious  *  Mum Paints Lives  *  Royal Baloo  * For the Children  *  Share and Remember  *  Red Ted Art

You can see check out each of their thoughtful contributions in this linky:

Coming Soon: Flower Creative Challenge

creative challenge flowers

creative challenge flowers

If you’re not already surveying your garden, market, or neighborhood for good flower picking, now is the time to put flowers on the brain for the next creative challenge. 

Every two months I host a Creative Challenge for kids with the introduction of a material and an invitation for children to create with. The objective of these challenges is to enable children to explore a material’s potential, build creative confidence, and envision new purposes for common objects…. skills that are at the heart of innovation.

If you’re interested in joining one of the next challenge, the opening date is Monday, June 4 and the material will be FLOWERS.

Your projects should be child-directed, but grown-ups are welcome to join in the fun if the mood strikes! Please look at past challenges to get a feel for what’s expected.

Share your Documentation or Post

If you’re a blogger and you’d like to join share a link to a post of your kid/s in action, set your post to go live on June 4 and add it to the link party that will show up here on that day.

If you’re not a blogger, you can upload a photo of your Flower Creative Challenge to my Facebook wall or tag @tinkerlab on Instagram with #flowerchallenge

Hope to see you then!

Creative Challenge: Egg Carton

nature collection in egg carton

Do you enjoy repurposing and upcycling materials into new things? Do you try to instill your children with the ability to be resourceful and mindful of their footprint on the environment? Then here’s a challenge for you!

Every two months I host a Creative Challenge with the introduction of a new material and an invitation for children to create something from it. The objective of these challenges is to encourage children to trust their own ideas, build creative confidence, and envision new purposes for common objects.

The rules of the game are simple: projects must include the challenge material, they should be be child-directed, but grown-ups are welcome to join in the fun if the mood strikes.

For this ninth creative challenge, children are invited to transform an egg carton into whatever they can dream up.  To participate, all are invited to add a photo to a comment or add a blog post to the Linky at the end of this post. Over forty bloggers and readers let me know in advance that they would participate and I hope that this will be an inspirational space for parents and caregivers who want to encourage creative thinking in their kids.

And, the fabulous kids’ activity crate subscription service, Kiwi Crate, is gracious enough to offer a free crate to one randomly selected winner. Read to the end for details.

Painting Egg cartonWe’ve been staring at egg cartons for weeks now, and my three year old hasn’t been too excited to manipulate this object. Yikes.

So I set up an invitation that she was eager to accept: Six small bottles of acrylic paint, a paper plate (palette), three brushes, and an egg carton.

She squeezed the paint onto the palette in rainbow order, and then painted each cavity a different color. A few minutes before I snapped this photo she mixed all the colors on another palette together and made the putty grey color you see on the right side of the crate.

She loved the name “putty grey” and made up a little song about it as she painted. I used this as an opportunity to encourage her to invent her own color names, but she didn’t bite.

nature collection in egg cartonI thought it could be fun to fill the holes with objects and natural materials that corresponded to the paint colors. She was less than enthusiastic about this idea and asked me to throw everything back into the garden.


As we developed a new game plan, a couple of her favorite friends stopped by and invited us to make lemonade with them.

But they didn’t have any lemons. How did they know that we did?

Cue: lemonade diversion…

squeezing lemonade with kids

A few hours later my toddler and I found a fun way to use the carton, and it reminds me of a baby version of that shell game you sometimes see on street corners of Manhattan. But no gambling here, I promise.

play baby gamesAfter noticing her interest in filling the egg carton with small toys, I filled each cavity with a plastic egg shell and then poured some glass bead treasures in a few eggs.

The treasures are great for burying in the sand box to dig up and discover, sprinkling around a garden, or pouring into a water table. You do have to be careful with small children who like to mouth little objects, and because of that we haven’t played with these for a while. But when you can confidently play with them, they sparkle and make everything more spectacular.

I loosely covered each egg and then my 1.5 year old had to find the treasures. She loved this! When she opened an empty egg she’d say, “Not there!”, but would shriek with laughter when she opened an egg filled with treasure.

This carried us until bath time, and I then I packed the game right up in the carton, ready to play again tomorrow.

play baby games

Thank you to the following blogs for participating in the challenge:

Child Central Station,  Red Ted ArtSun Hats & Wellie BootsTeach PreschoolThe Chocolate Muffin Tree The Educators’ Spin On It The Golden GleamGlittering MuffinsInspiration LaboratoriesKitchen Counter ChroniclesLiving At The Whiteheads ZooMake, Do & FriendMama Mia’sheart2heartNurtureStorePlayDrMomRainy Day Mum,  The Imagination TreeToddler ApprovedReading ConfettiKindergarten & Preschool for Parents & TeachersRainbowsWithinReachMommy Labs,  Green Owl ArtReusecraftsThe Outlaw Mom BlogHappyLittleMessesExperimenting-MomDuck Duck OctopusPaintCutPasteTrain Up a ChildGrowing A Jeweled Rose Coffee Cups and CrayonsReady. Set. Read!Scribble Doodle and DrawCarrots Are OrangeJDaniel4′s MomQuirky MommaA Mom With A Lesson PlanGood Long RoadTwo2Read

Check out their posts here, or add your own:



Thank you to our lovely sponsor, Kiwi Crate, for their ongoing support and generous giveaway. One lucky Tinkerlab reader will receive a free crate.

To enter to win, please leave a comment by Sunday, April April 15, 2012. And if you have material ideas for future challenge, I’d love to hear them.

Winner will be selected by random number generator and must have a U.S. address. Good luck!

A winner has been selected! Thank you to everyone who entered.



Coming Soon: Egg Carton Creative Challenge


If you’re not already stockpiling your egg cartons for rainy day upcycling, start saving those cartons for the next creative challenge. 

A little background

Every two months I host a Creative Challenge, with the introduction of a readily available material and the invitation for children to create something from it.

The objective of these challenges is to help children learn to trust their own ideas, build creative confidence, and envision new purposes for common objects.

To join, document your maker journey with one of more photo, and then come back on April 9 to share what you did. If you have a blog, set your post to go live on April 9. Otherwise, you can add images of your work to a comment on my blog on April 9. Either way, it’s fun to share and be inspired.

So far, the following kid-friendly bloggers let me know that they’re in excited to share their contributions.

Will you join us too?


To read more about the challenges, click here.



Paper Bag Museum

paper bag museum

In case you missed yesterday’s post, we’re hosting a super fun Paper Bag Creative Challenge that brought over 50 kid-directed paper bag projects together in one spot. Today I’m excited to share our own take on the challenge.

paper bag art oil pastels

This is how our art table looked the other morning.

paper bag art table

Me and the girls crafting up a paper bag collage storm.

My one year old colored paper bags with oil pastels and glued hearts and sequins to a paper bag while my 3 year old went to town — all day long — making paper bag collages that quickly took up all the ceiling space in the room.

collage installation

My 3-year old, N, called these her Valentine Collages and Paper Bag Art. She recently picked up on how museums have multiples of one type of thing, and decided that this would be her Paper Bag Museum. In case you’re wondering, I was told that it was okay that some of the things in the museum weren’t made with paper bags. She’s the curator, so I couldn’t really argue with that.

paper bag museum

We set up a Vistor Services Desk with information about our admission policies and hours. It’s really important for people to know that they can’t hang out in our house at dinner!

paper bag museum

We gathered up all the paper bag creations that weren’t hanging from the beams and displayed them here. Maps are in the basket on the left and she set up an interactive activity in the paper bag “basket.” More on that in a sec.

paper bag museum maps

We talked about how museums share all sorts of informative collateral for visitors to pick up, like maps, schedules, and catalogues. I cut a big paper grocery bag into squares and she decided to turn them into maps. To make this map, we started with a “you are here” dot, and then she added trails into the various rooms of our house, also marked by dots.

paper bag museum maps

But why stop with one map when you’re expected a big audience!

interactive museum prompt with kids

Then she handed me a stack of post-its and dictated this participatory prompt to me.

The museum educator in me was so proud!

This wasn’t going to be some stuffy old museum — oh no, she was thinking about her visitors’ experience and wanted to make sure their voices were heard!

paper bag museum

Our first visitor woke up from her nap just in time for the opening, and got right to work with a drawing. The prompt worked!

The museum is now closed for the installation of a new show. My one year old is enamored by fish, so maybe we’ll figure out a way to build her an Aquarium!

What’s your child’s favorite kind of museum? Could you set up an imaginative play area based on it?


If you’re interested in reading more about participatory museums, Museum 2.0 is one of my favorite sites, and it’s run by Nina Simon, Executive Director of The Museum of Art & History in Santa Cruz and author of The Participatory Museum.


Creative Challenge 8: Paper Bags

paper bag museum

A few weeks ago I put out a call for entrees in our 8th Creative Challenge: Paper Bags, and I’m excited that today is finally here and we get to see what everyone has been working on! The rules of the game are simple: projects should be child-directed, but grown-ups are welcome to join in the fun if the mood strikes. And at least one paper bag (of whatever variety) has to be used.

paper bag maps

I sometimes share what my kids and I have been working on, and today I’ll just give you a taste and turn the spotlight over to all the great ideas that are coming in from around the world. But come on back tomorrow and the rest of this week for more paper bag inspiration and highlights from the today’s Challenge.

Pinterest Contest

I’m a huge Pinterest fan (find me here:, and I thought it would be fun to interact with this challenge through a Pinterest Contest. Simply share a link to your project and we’ll upload it onto a Pinterest Board for everyone to see. The project with the most repins by February 29, 2012 at 9 pm PST will win a $100 VISA gift card and 3-month subscription to Kiwi Crate (Kiwi Crate subscription is only open to U.S. residents).

Following are some of the blogs that have joined this challenge, and more can be found in the Link Party below.

Paint Cut Paste, Imagination SoupHands On: As We Grow, Child Central Station, Putti Prapancha, Irresistible Ideas for Play-Based LearningTeach Preschool, The Chocolate Muffin Tree, Nurture Store, Small TypesThe Imagination Tree, Toddler Approved, Red Ted Art, Sun Hats and Wellie Boots, Come Together Kids, Mommy Labs, Kids in the Studio, Rainy Day Mum, Glittering Muffins, Sense of Wonder, Mom To 2 Posh Lil Divas, Come Together Kids, Kitchen Counter Chronicles, A Mom With A Lesson Plan, Angelique Felix, The Golden Gleam, Share and Remember, Clarion Wren, Living at the Whitehead’s Zoo, Let Kids Create, De tout et de rien, PlayDrMom, Rainbows Within Reach, No Time for Flash Cards, Creativity My Passion, Messy Kids, The Outlaw Mom,Glitter, Mud, and Duct Tape A Childhood List Kiwi Crate, Tinkerlab

If you have a paper bag post to share, you’re invited to add your inspiration to the Link Party at the bottom of this post. Everyone who links a paper bag project to this post will be added to the Paper Bag Pinboard on Pinterest.

 And feel free to grab our cute lil’ button for your own blog:


  • Add your Paper Bag project to the Link Party. We’ll ‘Pin” the image that you’ve uploaded to the Link Party, and share the description that you added to your link. Links that don’t relate to this challenge will be removed.
  • If you have another way that you’d like us to describe the pin, please leave the description in the comment section.
  • If you don’t have a blog, you can still enter! Simply upload your project onto an online photo storage site like Flickr or Picasa, and share your photo’s URL in the link party.
  • Grab my button and share it or a link to this page in your post.
  • Leave a comment if you’d like to participate in the next Creative Challenge, and I’ll be sure to add you to my list.
  • If I’m not already following you on Pinterest, leave your Pinterest URL in a comment and I’ll be sure to follow you.
  • Spread the love!! Take a few minutes to visit at least five of the participating sites and leave them a nice comment. Repin your favorite posts. Share this challenge on Facebook. Tweet about it. Whatever works for you.


  1. Contest ends February 29, 2012 at 9 pm PST
  2. The pin with the most repins will be selected as the winner
  3. Projects should be child-directed, although adults are welcome to join in if the mood strikes. Projects must include at least one paper bag.
  4. Kiwi Crate subscription is open to U.S. residents only. $100 VISA gift card is open to all entrees.
  5. Participants are welcome to share their pin widely to encourage repinning
  6. Tinkerlab and Kiwi Crate reserve the right to edit descriptions or select post images at our discretion.
  7. You do not need to have a Pinterest account to join
  8. One entry per person, please
UPDATE: Congratulations to Child Central Station on winning this challenge!!

Upcoming Challenges – Mark your Calendar!

April 2 – Egg Cartons   {NEXT CHALLENGE}
June 4 – Flowers
August 6 – Milk Jugs or Cartons
October 1 – Dried Beans or Seeds

Thank you to our lovely sponsor, Kiwi Crate, for their support and generous giveaway.