Bamboo Rubber Band Book

Bamboo Rubber Band Book

Today I'm excited to introduce you to Jody Alexander. Jody is a librarian and bookmaker who teaches bookmaking from Wishi Washi Studio in Santa Cruz, CA, and also teaches classes through the newly-launched Creative Bug. Tinkerlab special: Jody is sharing a code for a Creative Bug discount at the end of this post. Once you make one of these Bamboo Rubber Band Books, you'll … [Read more...]

Fingerprint Spiders for Halloween

Simple and Fun Fingerprint Spiders | Tinkerlab

Did you know that black widows are known for cannibalizing their mates?* Eek. Bet you didn't plan to come to Tinkerlab today to get info like that. Spider season has arrived, at least in the Halloween sense of the word, and while it may feel to early for some of us, kids can be wildly in tune with the changing of the seasons. And if it still feels too premature, you can … [Read more...]

Failure is Not Trying

failure is only the opportunity to begin again more intelligently

"Failure is only the opportunity to begin again more intelligently." - Henry Ford What do you think about failure? Do you encourage your child to make mistakes? Do you celebrate attempts to try new things? Do you share your own failed attempts freely with your child? Last night was Back to School Night at my new kindergartener's school. The principal gave a motivating … [Read more...]

Homemade Card Idea: Peek-a-boo Cards

Make Homemade Cards: Peek-a-boo Cards

"Letter writing is the only device for combining solitude with good company." - Lord Byron Do you make time to hand-write letters? I have piles of stationary that I used to adore writing on, but now these delightful pieces of artful ephemera seem to collect a whole lot of dust since everything has become digital. I'd love to get back to the fine art of letter writing, … [Read more...]

Seven Tips for Setting up an Impromptu Garden Art Studio

Bundt Cake

The other day we had the most amazing weather, so we set up a garden art studio... When I was in college I always loved those teachers who took their classes outside on a nice day. So why not recreate that magic with our kids? Did you know that most children don't spend enough time outdoors? Why Making Art Outdoors is so Awesome Being outside is … [Read more...]

How to Make a Paper Airplane

paper airplane table set up

Have you ever made a paper airplane? Did you learn how to make it from a book? Or maybe it was from the kid you shared a desk with in the third grade? I fall into the second camp, learning from my friends in school. And for all of the hundreds of airplanes we made, not one of them truly soared the way I expected it to. How to make a paper airplane Well guess what? Today … [Read more...]

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 Creative Invitations 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...]

Snow Cream

Snow Cream with Eggnog. So easy and delicious.

Snow Cream! Have you heard of it? My friend Jen at Paint Cut Paste has been talking my ear off about her favorite wintery dessert, a combination of snow and sweetened condensed milk, and I've been eager to try it for ages. And then there's this gorgeous children's book, Maple Syrup Season, that has made eating syrup off the ground my 4-year old's winter-time fantasy. At … [Read more...]

Marbled Paper Suminagashi

suminagashi prints

Are you looking for a last-minute hands-on gift, or maybe an idea to bookmark for a cold winter day? I've been saving this Suminagashi kit for a quiet morning and it was a true winner with both my 2-year old and 4-year old. The process of marbleizing paper encourages creative thinking, open-ended exploration with ink and water, and experimentation. But first, maybe … [Read more...]