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.

Meri Cherry

As a preschool art teacher and mother of two, Meri’s life is all tinkering, all the time. She calls herself a, “Reggio inspired atelierista (art teacher),” and she has watched the hands-on experience of the Reggio Emilia approach benefit her daughters, almost 3 and 4, as well as her students.

Meri’s blog, Meri Cherry and yes that’s her real name, is all about bringing families together and inspiring them to incorporate, “process-based art into their lives.” She has seen first hand how tinkering, “creates problem solvers, fosters creativity and builds confidence.  Plus, it's really fun and the possibilities are limitless.”

If you want to tinker like Meri, it isn’t about creating elaborate craft projects that break the bank. It’s about engaging projects for the whole fam. Parents who are on a budget or who have just discovered tinkering can start small. With tinkering trays, “you can easily fill an egg carton with cool supplies like sticks, pinecones, and toothpicks, add a box of recycled materials like toilet paper rolls with some tape or string and let the tinkering begin,” Meri says.

Online: mericherry.com

Photo: Morgan Pansing

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

— Natasha Davis

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