Drills, saws, hot glue and hammers aren’t usually what come mind when you think about kids and play. Think again. In the wonderful world of tinkering this is just the tip of the iceberg. Using creativity, math, science, imagination and the magic of trial and error, tinkering teaches future inventors about the world around them. Want to learn how to do it? Listen to these tips and tricks from the best tinkerers out there and you’ll be all set for your next project.

Curt Gabrielson

“From the dawn of time…we have learned primarily by tinkering.” These are wise words from this life-long tinkerer and author of Tinkering: Kids Learn By Making Stuff. For Curt, tinkering is a mix of creativity, inspiration, and a primordial need to understand the world. It’s a way for our little ones, “To become fully human. To become useful. To understand the universe apart from any given expert’s interpretation.”

It’s fair to say that Curt is one of the most famous tinkerers around, but of course, he sees his two little rascals, 12 and 10, as his “primary ongoing tinkering project. Incidentally, they view my partner and I as THEIR primary tinkering project as well.”

So if you’re looking to inspire the next generation, take it from the Yoda of tinkering, and embrace the stuff. To make the most of your experience, “you can’t be afraid of stuff. Piles and piles of stuff. To tinker with science, engineering, design, construction, electronics, crafts, or food, you’ll need stuff and lots of it,” Curt says. If you want to try one of his favorite projects and you’ve got a future musician in the fam, you can take a shot at making your very own bag pipes.

Online: curtgabrielson.com

Do you like to tinker with your kids? Share your favorite project in a Comment below. 

— Natasha Davis

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