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55 playful experiments that encourage tinkering, curiosity, and creative thinking from the creator of Tinkerlab.com—hands-on activities that explore art, science, and more. For children two and up.
Kids are natural tinkerers. They experiment, explore, test, and play, and they learn a great deal about problem-solving through questions and hands-on experiments. They don't see lines between disciplines; rather, they notice interesting materials and ideas that are worth exploring. This book is about creative experiments, in all fields, that help kids explore the world.
Children gravitate toward sensory experiences (playing with slime), figuring out how things work (taking toys apart), and testing the limits of materials (mixing a tray of paint together until it makes a solid mass of brown). They're not limited by their imaginations, and a wooden spoon can become a magic wand as quickly as a bag of pom-poms can become a hot bowl of soup. This book is about helping parents and teachers of babies, toddlers, and preschoolers understand and tap into this natural energy with engaging, kid-tested, easy-to-implement projects that value process over product. The creative experiments shared in this book foster curiosity, promote creative and critical thinking, and encourage tinkering--mindsets that are important to children growing up in a world that values independent thinking.
In addition to offering a host of activities that parents and teachers can put to use right away, this book also includes a buffet of recipes (magic potions, different kinds of play dough, silly putty, and homemade butter) and a detailed list of materials to include in the art pantry.
About the Author
RACHELLE DOORLEY is an arts educator, community builder, and founder of the popular creativity blog Tinkerlab. She studied costume design at the University of California, Los Angeles, and worked on Hollywood films before finding her true calling as an arts educator. After teaching art in Los Angeles schools, Rachelle earned a master’s in arts education from Harvard, and then oversaw docent and education programs at the San Jose Museum of Art. Rachelle lives with her husband and her two curious daughters in the beautiful San Francisco Bay Area, where she leads workshops on visual thinking and hands-on creativity. Rachelle believes in finding fun and meaningful ways to make every day creative, and can often be found experimenting in her sketchbook, taking her kids on adventures, and asking lots of open-ended questions. Rachelle enjoys chai tea, hand-drawn letters, train travel, hikes in the woods, artist studios, and ocean air.
“I highly recommend Tinkerlab to any parent with young children! I read the book in one sitting (it was that well written) but know I will be referring back to it for years as I encourage my own daughters’ tinkering, experimenting, and creative development.”—Jean V’ant Hul, author of The Artful Parent
“I love Tinkerlab! This book is a glorious invitation for wonder and delight. The teacher in me respects the approach to creativity, process, and self-directed exploration. The mom in me is charmed by the easy-access of materials and projects. Fun! Fun! Fun!”—Lynn Brunelle, author of Pop Bottle Science
“Being playful and creative is such a vital necessity in today’s world! As an arts educator and parent of a curious four-year-old, I greatly value and embrace the ‘tinkering mindset’ at the core of Doorley’s Tinkerlab. What an exceptional resource for all ages as we work to include more creative experiences and explorations in our lives.”—Michael Murawski, PhD, Director of Education & Public Programs at the Portland Art Museum and Founder and Editor at ArtMuseumTeaching.com