What is TinkerLab?

what is tinkerlab?

TinkerLab® is a place where children are encouraged to follow their curiosities, test how materials work, experiment, and ultimately combine materials and ideas together in new, inventive ways.

Welcome to Tinkerlab, where you’ll find creative experiments for young makers and rule breakers.

TinkerLab® describes both the physical space of the art studio/science lab where a family or class builds, paints, experiments, and tinkers, and it’s also the experimental state of mind that manifests what happens in this space.

Tinkering as the process of taking something apart in order to understand how it works, and then rebuilding with a better solution in mind. Not only is tinkering as a hands-on activity rewarding and useful, but the process of following one’s curiosities, understanding how something works, and then redesigning a better outcome is a metaphor for life! I love that we can give our children these skills to chip away at how the world works and then help them create pathways to design a better future.

To read more about tinkering click here.

If you don’t already have a designated TinkerLab®, or space for creating, it’s easy to get started. Your space doesn’t have to be fancy, and it can be set up in a playroom just as easily as at the dining table. In my tiny house, we converted our living room space into a maker space, and it serves us well.

TinkerLab has been celebrated as one of the top 25 Creative Mom Blogs  by Circle of Moms and was named most awesome local blog by Red Tricycle and Rachelle was named a Top 25 Creative Mom at Circle of Moms. Rachelle, who started this messy maker zone, is one of the 20 Must Follow Moms on Pinterest, and TinkerLab is just an all-around rad resource for anyone interested in kids and creativity.

TinkerLab has been featured in these places:

Tinkerlab featured on

About Rachelle Doorley

what is tinkerlab?

Rachelle Doorley is an educator focused on creativity, art education, and improvisational art-making. She’s the founder of the popular art and creativity website, TinkerLab.com, a Stanford lecturer, and author of three books including TinkerLab: A Hands on Guide for Little Inventors and TinkerLab Art Starts, and Creative Adventures in Cursive. Prior to founding TinkerLab, she worked as a museum educator, classroom teacher, Hollywood film costumer, theme park entertainer, and cruise ship chef. She works out of a magical studio filled with old books, sharp pencils, and endless paper. She lives with her family in Palo Alto, CA.


5 Easy Steps for Talking with Children about Art

Six Tools for Building a Child’s Confidence

10 Simple Ways to Raise Creative Kids

Our Creative Studio Corner (2010)

By making “creating” a fixture in your home or classroom, you’ll give your child or students permission to invent on a whim and honor the makers inside of them.

For more on this topic, I’ve also written a popular book: TinkerLab: A Hands-on Guide for Little Inventors, which you can find on Amazon and wherever great books are sold. This blog is an amazing resource, and you’re sure to find more of my best stuff in that book.


Cloud Dough Exploration

Water Bead Exploration

Rainbow Play Dough

Flubber – Gak – Slime

Cardboard Roll Marble Run


I am represented by Erica Silverman of Sterling Lord Literistic (NYC). Contact: erica at sll dot com

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