Recycled Weaving Fence

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When I saw this awesome weaving installation on display at the Bay Area Discovery Museum I knew it was something that I wanted to recreate at home. If I were running a preschool I think I would have taken the time to build such a structure because it would be a stellar group project, but as the parent of one curious, yet fickle, preschooler I thought it might be prudent to … [Read more...]

Outdoor Water Painting Experiments

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My friend Diana sent me these amazing photos of her son (almost 2 1/2 at the time), experimenting with water painting. She offered him a couple containers of water and a paintbrush and gave him free reign to paint away. I love how he was able to take these simple materials and experiment with them in multiple ways. He's enjoying the process of painting while learning about the … [Read more...]

Flour Sifter

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We have a make-shift sensory tub that often makes its way into the middle of our kitchen where we conduct experiments, make "cakes and pies," and mess around with the feel of stuff. Some of the things we've filled it with are dry beans, oobleck, jello, vinegar and baking soda, and rice. I'm always on the lookout for neat-o objects that might challenge and delight my child, … [Read more...]

Drawing Shadows

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Today was an on-and-off sunny day, but in those brief moments of sunshine we squeezed in a quick little chalk drawing project that's a great way to help children look at things from a new perspective, which is a key ingredient in creative thinking. I talked to N about a plan to draw our shadows earlier in the day, and lamented that it was too cloudy to try it out. When … [Read more...]

Creative Challenge #5: Plastic Bottles

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Make something with Plastic Bottles In honor of Earth Day, I'd like to raise a little awareness toward the enormous amounts of plastic bottles used around the world, coupled with some thoughts on recycling and upcycling those bottles into creative products. My family is hooked on bubbly water, and while the number of bottles we go through each week is staggering, each of … [Read more...]

Simple Balloon Yo-Yo

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This springy balloon yo-yo is fun to play with, easy to make, and can be created with things that you may already have in the cupboard. It can also teach children a nice lesson in resourcefulness, helping them understand that toys can be invented from simple objects. In this day and age of toys overflowing from grocery shelves and toy baskets, this is always a welcome lesson in … [Read more...]

Dry Erase on Windows

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Why use paper and crayons when you can draw on windows with markers? My husband invited us to visit him during a class he's teaching on the intersection of design and improvisation (oh how I wish I had time to take this class!).  He brought N a dry erase marker to keep her occupied. Can you find little sister up there? He led her to the large sliding doors, and … [Read more...]

Egg Dyeing Experiments

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News break  If you like TinkerLab, please click on over here and give us your vote. We won’t win anything, but the attention sure is nice! +++++   I'm excited to share my first inter-blog collaborative project. Are you ready? Today I'm posting two Easter Egg projects in conjunction with Melissa of The Chocolate Muffin Tree. After reading about last … [Read more...]

Rolled Wooden Eggs

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This is part of a collaboration with my friend Melissa’s blog, The Chocolate Muffin Tree. Scroll to the bottom for a link to her Two for One: Rolled Eggs. Her colors are amazing! We started with some wooden eggs. Aren't they pretty? What we used Wooden Eggs Acrylic Paint. Acrylics will stain clothes, walls, etc. Be sure to cover anything you wouldn't want … [Read more...]

Bird Feeder & Hop Circle

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Today I'm sharing two outdoor activities for creative play... #1: Peanut Butter Bird Feeder Our house is shaded by an enormous pinecone-dropping machine, and these little beasts can be found in all corners of our mini-oasis. They are so begging to be turned into something, right? Peanut-butter coated pinecone bird feeders, here we come! (Apologies up-front to all my … [Read more...]