Creativity and Education Interestingness

Creativity and education interestingness from the Tinkerlab blog

It's been a while since I've done a round-up of creativity and education resources, and since a few pieces of interestingness have crossed my desk this week, I wanted to take a minute to share these great resources with you! I hope you enjoy them and that they give you some food for thought. And if you've spotted any great articles that you think I should know about, please … [Read more...]

Homemade {Easy, Low-cost} Light Table

Easy low cost homemade light box

My 2-year old came down with a fever last week and we've been more or less house-bound. It's no fun at all, but it's made me pretty resourceful around the house. One big win was pulling out our homemade light table. My 4-year old, who used to love this box, seems to have grown out of it (sniff -- maybe it's a phase?), but my 2-year old was right at home sorting and designing … [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...]

Easy String Art Experiments for Kids

Easy String Art Painting with Kids

"The painting has a life of its own. I try to let it come through." -- Jackson Pollack, American Painter String Art Creating string art is a fun mix of art, creative thinking, and experimentation all rolled into one open-ended package. If you've been following this blog for a while you'll know that when it comes to children's projects, my focus lies on the experience of … [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...]

3 Tools that Build a Child’s Confidence

3 tools

Young children are full of their own ideas, confidence, and enthusiasm for the new. As much as we hope they'll retain this strong sense of self, as they get older it's possible that their confidence can diminish with the influence of peers or self-doubt that comes from not being able to bounce back from failure. I hope that my kids can retain a strong sense of self as … [Read more...]

Looking at Art with Kids: Norman Rockwell

How to look at art with kids :: Tinkerlab.com

Have you spent any time looking at art -- in a MUSEUM -- with your child? Even though I'm an arts educator who spent years leading gallery tours and training docents, we don't spend as much time in art museums as I'd like because, you know, my children look at everything as a potential playground. I have an arsenal of gallery games and tricks up my sleeve, but they're no match … [Read more...]

We only think when confronted with a problem

we only think when confronted with a problem :: tinkerlab.com

"We only think when confronted with a problem." -- John Dewey, American philosopher and educator What do you think about this quote by John Dewey?  I spend a lot of my time considering how to set the stage for open-ended discovery as a way to foster a child's confidence and independence. If you caught my last post, Organizing a Self-serve Creativity Zone, you'll see a … [Read more...]

Organize a Self-Serve Creativity Zone

slime

"The drive to master our environment is a basic human characteristic from the beginning -- from birth." --Jack P. Shonkoff, Harvard University (From Mind in the Making, Ellen Galinsky. New York: Harper Collins, 2010). Do you have self-serve spaces in your home that are dedicated to creativity, art, science, and tinkering? Today I'm sharing our creative zone, the space … [Read more...]

DIY Pumpkin Pie Playdough

fall playdough

Have you ever made your own play dough? Im a fan of store bought dough (it's so easy!), but making your own is a money saver and we can make TONS of it in minutes. And with the simple addition of a little pumpkin pie spice, our dough smells heavenly...just like pumpkin pie!   Inspired by The Artful Parent's Autumn Arts and Crafts book, The Artful Year: Autumn, we … [Read more...]