Tinkering, Making and Being Inspired

Tinkering with alligator clips, a battery pack and a 3 V motor.

Tinkering with alligator clips, a battery pack and a 3 V motor.

As we continue with our second week of Tinkering Class, the boys and I dived head first into circuits. We watched the explanatory videos and then my kids ran and pulled out all of the components and started to try and make things work.

The 9-year-old decides to see how many items he can successfully connect at once.

The 9-year-old decides to see how many items he can successfully connect at once.

I love having this time with them and watching them get excited about learning. It was so much fun! The “old” me would have wanted to build every component just the way it was in the introductory video before bringing it out to them. Instead, we tested it out together and realized we needed a few more pieces to make it as easy-going as in the videos.  We’ll be building more parts as a team, thus deepening the learning and exploring.

Apparently, we had a “maker” kind of day going on. Once the boys realized we needed a few more parts before we could continue with the circuit boards, they decided to finally get down to making a tin-can telephone. This is something my oldest had read about and wanted to try, but hadn’t quite found the concentration to put it into action.

Six years-old and hammering...with sandals on. Eek!

Six years-old and hammering…with sandals on. Eek!

The 9-year-old has cut his toe on a saw (while wearing sandals). You'll notice he is wearing his sneakers.

The 9-year-old has cut his toe on a saw (while wearing sandals). You’ll notice he is wearing his sneakers.

They found a web site on how to construct a tin-can telephone and other than some assistance with reaching the tools (oh, the garage) and some knot tying…this was a project that they completed all on their own.

They even experimented (and became frustrated) as they figured out how to make it work the best. Tight string and in the same room?  Yes. Around a corner or with closed doors? Not so much.

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A great day for learning, doing and exploring. We don’t always have those sorts of days, so it’s nice to be able to look back on them and remember!