Inspired by Nature: Four Easy Steps to Follow a Child’s Interests

Inspired by Nature: wasp nest and bumble bee art

Do you have bees, birds, squirrels, deer, possum, or other creatures milling around your neighborhood? It's been wild animal week here at Casa Tinkerlab. We had two big discoveries at our house: a wasp nest in the eaves by our back door and a bird nest tucked into a hole along the siding of our house. Sad story, we found the bird nest on the ground today, and all of the … [Read more...]

Creative Table: A Sticker Composition with Frames

Sticker composition 4

Setting up Invitations to Create like this is one of my very favorite ways to encourage children to explore new ideas and develop a visual language. Here's the basic premise: Clear the table of anything that won't be used in the invitation Artfully arrange the materials to provoke ideas Limit the choice of materials to just a few items Provide clues about how to use … [Read more...]

Make a Simple Room Fort

How to build a simple kids fort with tape and a sheet

Hello Tinker-firends! I've been busy with some family business and book edits that are taking a toll on my late-night blogging time. How are you doing? Until I get a better handle on these details I thought I'd share some quick snippets of tinkering inspiration from our days at home and out-and-about. Today we have a down-and-dirty favorite from my husband, our resident … [Read more...]

Vegetable-Dyed Easter Eggs

Dye for Easter Eggs

Have you ever thought about making vegetable dyed Easter eggs? I'm trying to make a move away from synthetic food dyes and wanted to use natural, homemade dyes this year. Not only are these colors absolutely healthy for human consumption, but the process of making them is a wonderful lesson in creating art materials from scratch and can help children think critically … [Read more...]

Paint with glue, and how to make your own colored glue

How to color and paint with glue | Tinkerlab

My 2-year old is going through the phase of wanting to squeeze all the life out of any tube of paint, toothpaste, or glue that crosses her path. Have you had, or do you have, a child in that phase as well? I remember this phase well. When my older daughter hit it, I made up a big batch of flour + water paint so that she could squeeze all she wanted. It was an economical … [Read more...]