Invitation to Build: Tinkering Trees


This week’s invitation to build was inspired by two things: the Christmas tree we just decorated and The Babe’s portable tinkering kit.  She’s been taking that kit all over the place recently, even out the night we picked up our tree.  The nuts and bolts inside seemed to be some of her favorite pieces, so I challenged her to make some Christmas trees out of them.  Hope you enjoy this fine motor forest full of Tinkering Trees!  This post contains affiliate links.

Do your kids like to build?  Offer them this invitation to build and they can make their own Christmas tree forest.  #STEM #STEAM

Tinkering Trees Supplies Needed:

  • several 5/8″ diameter bolts in various lengths (one per tree you want to make)
  • 5 x 5/8″ size nuts for every tree you want to make
  • 4 washers in reducing diameter for every tree you want to make

Or for faster shopping than going to the hardware store, these nut and bolt combo box {affiliate} and washer set is an easy way to buy…

Make the Tinkering Trees

This activity is an amazing way to build fine motor skills.  Simply start with a bolt, and then stack, alternating nuts and washers.  It takes some serious spinning and twisting of the fingers to move the nuts around, perfect for strengthening those fingers.  As for what the trees should look like, there is no right answer for how to build them, just have fun!Tinkering Trees closeup Left Brain Craft Brain

I really love watching her tinker with nuts and bolts.  There’s so much concentration happening.  I wish I could read her mind and know exactly what’s going through her brain.

Tinkering Trees with Nuts and Bolts Concentrating Left Brain Craft Brain

We didn’t try it, but I thought that the trees would look interesting painted as well as plain.  Next time…  Which may be after Christmas is done.  There are pine tree forests all year round, not just at Christmas after all…

Tinkering Trees Left Brain Craft Brain FB

Like this?  Set out an Elsa’s Ice Palace Invitation to Build for the kiddos, too.  Or check out the Left Brain Craft Brain STEM Pinterest board for more ideas.  Follow Anne @ Left Brain Craft Brain’s board STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) Activities on Pinterest.


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