Portable Tinkering Kit for Preschoolers

I don’t know about you, but I’m always looking for activities that I can take on the go with my preschool-aged daughter.  So I decided to turn one of her favorite activities, the Tinkering Station for Young Engineers into a Portable Tinkering Kit.  It’s small, it’s handy and it gets you through that excruciating wait before the food comes at a restaurant.  Oh and the kids get to play and work on their STEAM (Science / Technology / Engineering / Art / Math) skills too!  This post contains affiliate links.

Make your preschooler a portable tinkering kit full of loose parts perfect for inventing. Builds STEM skills in preschoolers.  It makes a great Christmas or birthday gift for aspiring engineers, too.

Making the Portable Tinkering Kit

I picked up a small plastic box that’s made for organizing small hardware parts.  The big thing you need is the ability to customize the opening shapes with movable dividers.  Also, make sure it has a handle or notch for your fingers to hold it.  One like this works:  Small parts storage box with handle {affiliate}.

I modified the box a little so that we could include a pocket for paper or a journal.  You need:

  • 1 sheet protector
  • Clear packing tape

Paper Pocket for Tinkering Kit Left Brain Craft Brain

Cut the sheet protector down to fit the back side of the box.  Then simply tape around three sides with the packing tape to secure.

What to Put into the Tinkering Kit:

A lot of this is about using what you have, but here’s a list of what I had.  It fits into 4 main buckets 1) Design Tools 2) Parts to Connect 3) Connectors 4) Things that Measure and Enhance.

Portable Tinkering Kit for Preschoolers Contents Left Brain Craft Brain

Design Tools

  • Mechanical pencil and marker
  • Paper or journal

Things to Connect


  • Clothespins
  • Tape
  • Glue stick
  • Rubber bands
  • Pipe cleaners

Things that Measure and Enhance

  • Mini tape measure {affiliate}
  • Googly eyes (Why?  Because everything is better with googly eyes, says my daughter.)

Next install the dividers in your box so that all of your loose parts fit.  I made a couple of long sections, six medium sections and two little sections.  I love how customizable these boxes are!

Tinkering Kit Closeup Left Brain Craft Brain

This would make a great Christmas or birthday present for your favorite preschooler too…

Tinkering Kit Gift Left Brain Craft Brain

For some tinkering inspiration to go along with the kit, check out these great books {affiliate}.  Rosie Revere, Engineer was the inspiration behind the original Tinkering Station for Young Engineers :)

Portable Tinkering Kit for Preschoolers Left Brain Craft Brain FB

21 thoughts on “Portable Tinkering Kit for Preschoolers”

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  5. Watching my daughter the other day, I decided she is totally ready for one of these! And I agree with your daughter – everything is better with googly eyes! ;)

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