Tinkering Station for Young Engineers

I’m excited to share one of the recent book adventures we had with Jill over at Confidence Meets Parenting… We’ve fallen in love with a book called Rosie Revere, Engineer and set up a Tinkering Station to go along with it. It’s an inspiring story about a smart little girl who likes to tinker with trash and make amazing contraptions. But her inventions don’t always work quite right so she gets frustrated. That is until a very special family member takes her aside and teaches her that failure is the first step in inventing something spectacular. For a fun way to help build confidence in kids (and build young engineers!), follow these simple steps to tinkering fun.

Tinkering Station for Young Engineers

Tinkering Station Supplies

Tinkering Station for Young Engineers

  • nuts and bolts
  • hole punch
  • tape
  • rubber bands
  • old chop sticks
  • recycled cardboard
  • recycled bottles
  • ruler
  • twine
  • leftover wheels from a broken toy
  • journal
  • pen / markers

Let the Tinkering Begin

Tinkering Station for Young Engineers

She literally sat down at the station, opened the pen, and started drawing her contraption. She said ok, I’m going to build a car, but I should draw it first. Then she tinkered and built a “car”. Then she drew it out again, post-build. This mama engineer was so proud of her little engineer for working through a design process all on her own!

tinker and draw... love this engineering activity for kids

Talk About Tinkering

Tinkering open play is a great chance to talk with your kiddo about trial and error and failure. Experimenting helps kids develop logic skills, important for daily life, not just engineering. Some good open-ended questions to ask:

  • What did you design?
  • How does it work?
  • What parts were harder than you expected to design / draw / build / make ?
  • Does this look and work like what you thought it would when you started? Why or why not?
  • What would you do differently next time?

Every kid can be an engineer, it just takes trying! As Rosie’s Aunt Rose said, “The only true failure comes if you quit.” 🙂

Tinkering Station for Young Engineers Left Brain Craft Brain for Mom with a Lesson Plan PinThis post contains affiliate links to help support our crazy craft supply budget!  Thanks for helping out.

13 thoughts on “Tinkering Station for Young Engineers”

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  3. I love this idea of a Tinkering Station! I’m building a summer bucket list and this is a must on ours! I love your blog – I am also an ex chemical engineer who happens to be pretty artistic so your blog resonates a lot with me. Thanks for your hard work!

    1. leftbraincraftbrain

      Thanks so much Tracy! I just got totally engrossed in your blog. Love it! My daughter would love a lot of your projects. I think we might do the wood bending science today.

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