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 Supplies
- nuts and bolts
- hole punch
- rubber bands
- old chop sticks
- recycled cardboard
- recycled bottles
- leftover wheels from a broken toy
- pen / markers
Let the Tinkering Begin
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!
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.” 🙂
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