What Is Tinkering?

Put on your safety goggles! Rachel visits the Chicago Children's Museum's Tinkering Lab and Kim Koin, "Head Tinkerer," to learn about why experimentation and learning by doing is so important for children zero to five. 

So, what is tinkering, anyway? Tinkering is a way of trying things out without a preconceived notion of if what you're going to do, a great form of exploration. Through tinkering, kids can learn that failure is a great option. Even when you don't succeed in what you set out to do, you learn from your "failures" and will be able to make something even better in the future.

Tinkering can be a little bit intimidating to the first time adult supervisor. So here are a few tips for tinkering at home or in your classroom:

  • Wait, watch, follow: Give you children a chance to figure it out for themselves. 
  • Keep it simple.
  • All you need to start is a piece of wood, a hammer, and nails. Little imaginations will take over from there!