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.

Aimee Hosler

As a journalist, educator and mother of two, Ashton (7), and Liam (4), Aimee is the ideal tinkering blogger. During her time at California Polytechnic State University - San Luis Obispo, she was a journalism major with serious envy for engineers. It wasn’t until her son, Ashton, exhibited symptoms of ADHD, dyslexia, and dysgraphia that she really started to take things apart. The hands-on learning experience transformed Ashton into a kid who is, “curious, engaged, inspired, and confident—no longer the ‘shut-down’ learner we used to know.”

With The Wonder Nook, Aimee has created a passionate and supportive community for parents and educators who want to share their perspectives about hands-on maker education. If you’re interested in trying one of their projects, the stop-motion LEGO project is a winner. It’s perfect for future filmmakers and engineers alike.

For Aimee, tinkering inspires curious minds, celebrates the trial and error of the learning process, encourages creativity and builds confidence. But most of all, tinkering makes the abstract real. As Aimee explains, “you can teach a child about gravity, friction and inertia and she’ll probably get it, but if you invite her to build simple machines using random parts and materials, those concepts become tangible.”

Online: wondernook.com

Photo: Aimee Hosler (that’s her husband Ryan in the photo!)

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

— Natasha Davis

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