We have been eagerly awaiting the release of this wonderful new book – Tinkerlab THE BOOK!!! I have long been a fan of Tinkerlab the blog and it’s owner Rachelle Doorley… not only does Rachelle have wonderful ideas, but she is pretty lovely too. Win win. So, when I heard she was writing a book, I couldn’t wait. After months of waiting it finally arrived:
I know you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, but it is pretty hard not to, when the cover is so very lovely! So we were off to a good start.
What is wonderful about this book, is that it is a mixture of “parenting ethos” and activity ideas. This isn’t just a book that says “make this”, “draw that”, “create this”… but a book, that makes you think about how you parent too. Are you restricting how your child discovers the world or are you providing them with every opportunity to discover? It empowers you to LOVE those mud pies in the garden (and not just look down at them as a quaint toddler activity), it empowers you to EMBRACE that mess in the kitchen as you let your child stir and mix (how else is your child going to learn that vigorous stirring results in overflowing pancake mixture) and it empowers you to have FUN. Rachelle, writes about “tinkering and exploring” and creating the tinkering environment in an approachable way – she recognises the limitations that for a example a small home may have and that we don’t all cope too well with mess and gives us solutions to help address some of these. Clearly, we can’t all do everything, but we can do lots of little things easily.
Many things Tinkerlab suggests we were doing already… but it is nice to do them consciously and MORE OFTEN!
Here are some the things we have been doing:
In our messy, cluttered house, this “Art Trolley” (a Kitchen trolley, that Tinkerlab discovered at IKEA and turned into their own art trolley), instantly helps us organise our dining room (aka art) table better. It is still covered in paper for drawing and books for reading, but we now have many of our “day to day” art materials in one place. The kids know they can access these whenever they want. It includes, pens, pencils, scissors, rulers, tape, glue sticks, stickers, beads, nature finds (pine cones), corks, wool… in short – anything that doesn’t stress me (!) out if they use it independently. Paints and brushes, white glue are kept separately for when I choose to set up an activity.
And since reading the book, I am indulging the kids desire to mix potions – be it paper bits in water, with some added leaves and grass and a splash of food colouring (take it out side kids) or flour, water, mud and petals… so long as it is OUTSIDE, I am happy. And they experiment away for HOURS.
I have always let the kids help in the kitchen.. but sometimes I “do it myself” as it is quicker.. or I think something is to tricky for them.. so I let them grate the lemons to much delight of both kids. It was tricky, one hurt themselves A LITTLE, but they loved it. Next time, I will let them do it again.
Instead of hoarding my office stickers… I got them their own set… and let them create away… Pip Squeak created many a “little girl holding a balloon” combo using these stickers (triangle for a dress, circle for the balloon), with lots of stars in the sky. Red Ted created traffic lights and cars (I did NOT encourage any gender differences btw..).
And we can’t wait to try out some more of the “specific projects” in the book – like removing the egg shell from an egg with vinegar. But first, I must retrieve the book from the clutches of my son as he “decides” what he would like to do next.
The great thing about this books, is that it provides you with a tool set of activities that you can do TOGETHER, as well as the mindset of letting the children discover things on their own (and give you 30min of peace whilst you do something you need to do…).
Order your copy today:
Available for US Readers here.
Available for UK Readers here.