Creative Table Inspiration

what's on your creative table at tinkerlabIn the four days since I posted about the  Creative Table projectI’ve been amazed at the variety of ideas that have come from this International group; everything from a geology lesson to oversized PVC pipe tinkering toys to making paper dolls. As I’m typing this, more creative table images are coming in, and I’ll be sure to post those next week.

These images are mostly shared on Instagram (I’m a huge fan. Are you?), but you can also share by simply uploading your image onto this form.

Well, enough jibber-jabber. Have a look for yourself. Get inspired. And since this is a brand-new project, I’d love to get your feedback on what would make this project even better.

Creative table art invitation inspiration from TinkerlabTop Row: Dress in progress from Amy, Maker Mama   *   Paper Collage from Rachelle, Tinkerlab   *   Letterboxes and miniature letters with low temperature hot glue gun, scissors, paper card and markers from Ali, At Home with Ali
Middle Row: Canvas pictures, paint, paint brushes and hands from Robin   *   Pony Bead Mandala from Jen, Paint Cut Paste   *   Paper Dolls, Kara from Simple Kids
Bottom Row: PVC Pipe Sprinkler from Katie, A Childhood List   *   Dried black beans, cornmeal, yellow pom poms, honey sticks, pictures of flowers (from a postcard), pipe cleaners, pony beads, lavender from Jennifer Fisher, The Good Long Road   *   Water color on stained tea paper from Jen, Paint Cut Paste

Creative table art invitation inspiration from TinkerlabTop Row: Things I’ve been painting white: tops, a small box, a cardboard from Angela   *   Painting Fancy Nancy from Ali, At Home with Ali   *   Water color and ice from Angela
Middle Row: Kids’ catalogues and glue from Angela   *   Bundled tri-color drawing from Kate and Picklebums   *   Beading from At Home with Ali
Bottom Row: Painting Rocks from At Home with Ali   *   Salt and Glue (with watercolors) from Courtney   *   Watercolor painting from Emilie
Creative table art invitation inspiration from TinkerlabTop Row: Lucy’s table from Courtney   *   “Melting” chalk from Angela   *   Geology Exploration from Jen, Paint Cut Paste
Middle Row: Home made stamps from Courtney   *    Leaf Rubbing from Jena, Happy Little Messes   *   Drawing in Sketchbook from Maya at MemeTales
Bottom Row:  Tea stained paper from Jen, Paint Cut Paste   *   Leaf Rubbing from Jena, Happy Little Messes   *   Tempera painting from Emilie

Submit your creative table here.

So, what do you think? Are you inspired? Is there anything that would help this project run better? 

St. Paddy’s Day Photo Booth

st paddys day photo boothI’ve  always loved St. Paddy’s day, and then I lucked out and married a cute Irishman. We spent part of our honeymoon in Ireland, and the green island holds a special place in my heart.

A few weeks ago I asked the Tinkerlab Facebook community for some ideas on what I could do with a huge pile of old sheets. I got tons of great ideas, and we started by making a Simple Clip Fort. I’m working my way through the list, and today we’re making a photo booth backdrop for St. Patty’s Day.

Before going to bed I hung a white sheet over one of our curtain rods and secured it with two big clips.

cut out shamrocks for photo boothI cut a handful of shamrocks from green paper and placed them on a table with double-stick tape. Altogether, the prep took me about 10 minutes. When my kids woke up, they were excited about the invitation, got dressed in greenish clothes, and we got right to work.

tape shamrocks for photo boothI helped 3-year old N stick some tape to the back of the shamrocks. Double-stick tape is tricky stuff for little hands! Then she and my 1-year old stuck them to the sheet. Well, my 1-year old mostly tore the shamrocks in half and we had to find a more constructive activity to distract her for a few minutes.

I moved a green rug over to the curtain area and that’s when the dance party started. I snapped a couple archive-worthy photos for the family photo album, and then it was mostly just playing in fron to the clover curtain.

st pattys photo boothOn St.Patty’s Day itself, we serve up green milk in mugs, delivered with a bit of magic. We add a couple drops of green food coloring in the bottom of a dark mug, the kids say “Sean Beggorrah,” and then we pour white milk into the mug for a leprechaun-delivered surprise. This tradition comes down through my husband’s family and I haven’t met anyone else who does this. Is this part of your St. Patrick’s Day traditions?

We’ve been talking about building a leprechaun trap, but I’ve never built one before. Have you? Do you have any tips? And I’m always thinking about fun ways to add magic to this holiday and would love to hear how you celebrate St. Paddy’s Day with your kids.

More St. Patrick’s Day fun from the Archives

Rainbow Play Dough

Spring Sink Mat Print

Fairy Doors 

Tinkerlab on Instagram

rainbow whirly birds

Rainbow Whirly Birds

Hi all! It’s been a rough couple of days with a one year old who’s not afraid to fight sleep. I think she’s teething, but who really knows, and coffee has been getting me through the days. I had big ideas about sharing Valentines projects and more paper bag experiments, but the reality is that I have a huge pile of dishes to contend with and bags under my eyes.

today's chalkboard drawing

today's chalkboard drawing


However, I’ve been able to snap a few shots of our creative days via Instagram, and thought you might like to see a snapshot from our lives. I’ve been a fan of Instagram since it first came out, and just set up a Tinkerlab account, and if you’re an Instagram fan too, maybe you’d like to follow me!

stanford barn

stanford barn

I like to take the girls on field trips, and last week we wandered over the Stanford Barn to check out the horses. My one-year old is enamored by “neigh-neighs”…from afar…not so much up close and personal…and has been saying “neigh-neigh poop” since last week’s visit. Props to me for the educational trip!

spring time in california

spring time in california

And today we played outside in our garden. We’re having a mild California winter and were able to enjoy an hour in the sand box, do a little seed planting, and pick some wild flowers.

If you’d like to follow me on Instagram, I’m Tinkerlab, or follow the link to set up your own account.

Oh my gosh…shortest nap EVER!! Okay, I’m off. Hope to be back tomorrow :)

Join the Next Creative Challenge

One year ago I started this series of Creative Challenges with a toilet paper/loo roll challenge. The series began on a small scale and has grown along with my blog to include a generous sponser [Kiwi Crate] and a host of talented bloggers and non-blogging friends who focus on process-oriented projects with their children or students. The challenges are bi-monthly, and we have some exciting materials to look forward to playing with.

Upcoming Challenges – Mark your Calendar!

  • February 6 – Paper Bags {Next Challenge!}
  • April 2 – Egg Cartons
  • June 4 – Flowers
  • August 6 –  Milk Jugs or Cartons
  • October 1 – Dried Beans or Seeds

How to Join

    • Make: Projects should be child-directed, but grown-ups are welcome to join in the fun if the mood strikes! Use at least one paper bag, along with any other materials of your choice. See the last challenge, Magazines, for inspiration.
    • Share: Come back to Tinkerlab on or after February 6, 2012 and attach a link to your blog or a photo from your experience, along with a description of what you and/or your child/ren did, in the comment section of the challengeIf you have a blog, you can also add your project to the linky party. The challenge opens up on February 6, and will remain open indefinitely
    • Pinterest: After you submit your post or photo/s, we will add you to a Paper Bag Creative Challenge Pinterest Board, where it can serve as inspiration for others.
    • WIN!!: The Pinterest Post with the most “reposts” by 9 pm PST February 29, 2012 (leap year — yay!) will win a $100 VISA gift card and three-month subscription to Kiwi Crate, courtesy of Kiwi Crate (subscription is only available to U.S. participants). Participants are welcome to encourage friends and readers to “repost” their links.
    • Are you a blogger? Let your fans know about the challenge and grab our cute lil’ button to share it on your blog.


Are you Ready to Join Me?

  • Start thinking about Paper Bags. Collect them from your market, raid your lunch sacks, and show your kids pictures of upcycled paper bags and see what they’re excited about.
  • February 6 is two and a half weeks from now, which should give us all plenty of time to tinker, play, and then share.
  • Tell your friends about the challenge. Host a creative paper bag play group. Share a link to the challenge on your Facebook wall.
  • Show up on February 6 with your documentation! I can’t wait to see you then!!
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