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Tinkerlab: A Hands-On Guide for Little Inventors Paperback – June 10, 2014

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Editorial Reviews

Review

“I highly recommend Tinkerlab to any parent with young children! I read the book in one sitting (it was that well written) but know I will be referring back to it for years as I encourage my own daughters’ tinkering, experimenting, and creative development.”—Jean V’ant Hul, author of The Artful Parent
 
“I love Tinkerlab! This book is a glorious invitation for wonder and delight. The teacher in me respects the approach to creativity, process, and self-directed exploration. The mom in me is charmed by the easy-access of materials and projects. Fun! Fun! Fun!”—Lynn Brunelle, author of Pop Bottle Science

“Being playful and creative is such a vital necessity in today’s world!  As an arts educator and parent of a curious four-year-old, I greatly value and embrace the ‘tinkering mindset’ at the core of Doorley’s Tinkerlab.  What an exceptional resource for all ages as we work to include more creative experiences and explorations in our lives.”—Michael Murawski, PhD, Director of Education & Public Programs at the Portland Art Museum and Founder and Editor at ArtMuseumTeaching.com

About the Author

RACHELLE DOORLEY is an arts educator, community builder, and founder of the popular creativity blog Tinkerlab. She studied costume design at the University of California, Los Angeles, and worked on Hollywood films before finding her true calling as an arts educator. After teaching art in Los Angeles schools, Rachelle earned a master’s in arts education from Harvard, and then oversaw docent and education programs at the San Jose Museum of Art. Rachelle lives with her husband and her two curious daughters in the beautiful San Francisco Bay Area, where she leads workshops on visual thinking and hands-on creativity. Rachelle believes in finding fun and meaningful ways to make every day creative, and can often be found experimenting in her sketchbook, taking her kids on adventures, and asking lots of open-ended questions. Rachelle enjoys chai tea, hand-drawn letters, train travel, hikes in the woods, artist studios, and ocean air.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Roost Books (June 10, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 161180065X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1611800654
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 0.5 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (101 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #6,137 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Rachelle Doorley is mom to two girls, tinkerer, educator, and founder of the popular children's creativity blog, TinkerLab.com. She has a B.A. in theater design from the University of California, Los Angeles and an Ed.M. in Arts in Education from Harvard University. Prior to founding TinkerLab, Rachelle taught art in the LA Unified School District and was the Director of Education at the San Jose Museum of Art. She has written articles on creativity and arts education for School Arts Magazine, Real Simple Magazine, and FamilyFun Magazine. Rachelle lives in the beautiful San Francisco Bay Area with her husband, Scott, and her two curious daughters, where she leads workshops on visual thinking and hands-on creativity.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

65 of 67 people found the following review helpful By Teacher of Tots on June 18, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have somewhat followed the authors blog for a while now, but when I decided to purchase this book I thought it would just be a simple 55 projects. It is much more than that. With several variation to each of those 55 projects which appeal to young children as well as teen-age boys and adults, I was so very impressed as I read it cover to cover in one day. As an early childhood educator I feel it is difficult to find fabulous books such as this one, which has lots of appeal and some very creative projects with some unique spins on the variations. My seven year old is fascinated, as is my 22 year old son. Lots of great ideas for everything from making marks with crayons and markers but also delves into simple machines, robotics, electronics and some really unique hands on art experiences that are not widely published in the typical make and do books. Love the drawing machine that kids can construct with a simple motor, tape and markers, the geodes inside egg shells, the lava lamp, the photography ideas and the ideas to make art in nature (Which doesn't have to be permanent, still respectful, and fun even for others to enjoy after you're gone). My 7 year old's first project was the straw rockets, and he was hooked on this book. Fabulous ideas for the tiniest of tots to teachers who are not easily impressed, such as me. If I could give it 6 stars I would have. Beautiful photography and simple guidelines throughout the book make this the go to for many hours of fun, unplugged creativity well worth the cost of this great find! Well Done Tinkerlab!
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Format: Paperback
I just got my copy of Tinkerlab today and I have to say that it is one of the most beautiful books I have ever owned. Tinkerlab is a gorgeously designed book with carefully written words that make me want to slow down and soak it up.
I have been a long time follower of the Tinkerlab Blog and I have learned that our approach towards our kids and the activities they do can contribute towards raising independent thinkers and problem solvers.

I highly recommend this book for any parent and/or teacher. Here are the reasons why -
1. The author Rachelle is an arts educator (and a mom) and she really speaks from experience.
2. The book is has a PREPARE section at the beginning of the book that really sets the stage for how we can prepare the space, get the tools and create habits that will let us raise our little Tinkerers. This is the most important portion of the book (in my opinion) as it reiterates over and over that it is all about the process and the experience our kids have.
3. The activities themselves are very simple to set up.
4. Every activity has an "Experiment" section that gives little extensions and asks questions. Don't be fooled by the simplicity of these, because this is what really contributes to kids exploring the activity beyond the obvious, asking questions and becoming curious.
5. Finally, the book is a work of art by itself. It is so pretty and inviting.

Hope you enjoy the book as much as I am enjoying it!
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By B.W. on October 11, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book has great images I mean beautiful, but I was expecting a something a little different. I thought it was more craft related but it seems like there's a lot of advice, motherly advice, walk-throughs things of that nature which is fine, it just wasn't what I was expecting. Adorable book though.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Craig Louis Citro on June 10, 2014
Format: Paperback
I am a big fan of the Tinkerlab website, and this book does not disappoint! So many great ideas for allowing kids the freedom to tinker and learn through play. My daughter and I are looking forward to completing all these fun activities this summer!
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Sara Lamberto on November 2, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
A great book with lots of great ideas! It has projects for little kids- toddler to early elementary and suggestions on ways to do a project with multiple age ranges. I really like that she has included comments/tips from other parents. This book is a well organized and useful reference tool with lots of pictures. The author also covers ideas for setting up a maker space for kids AND parents-- after all if creating is important to a family, why not do it together? I found this book to be very motivational and encouraging. I checked it out at the library and am now purchasing it. The only thing that bothered me, and this is admittedly nit-picky, is that Michelangelo painted the Sistine Chapel, not Leonardo DiVinci as the author states.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By S. Hopkins on June 10, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A wonderful book, as I expected as a fan of the Tinkerlab website. Great photos, and fun ideas for kids and grown-ups alike!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By lkmc on January 13, 2015
Format: Paperback
I received this book for Christmas-- twice. Once from my mother & once from my sister. Both my husband and I are very much "makers" and "tinkerers", but we're sort of new to this parenting gig (our kids are 3 & 1), and I had been feeling stuck about how to do more art projects, and how to bring new life to our often-repeated painting sessions. The book is packed full of ideas for projects and activities for young children. It is also visually very beautiful, which I really appreciate.

I also appreciated the "guest" essays by art educators, which added another dimension to the projects. If I had one wish, it would be for a larger discussion about how to talk to children about their projects / artwork in non-judgmental ways that provoke more thought & creativity in the children. I frequently find myself trying to encourage my daughter by telling her that her artwork is "beautiful", (and I sound like a broken record), but I know there are ways I could talk about her work that would encourage her creative process. (Note that the book does touch on this subject, but it is VERY brief.)

This seriously was the best Christmas present I got this year, and I'm really enjoying spending more time making things with my kids.
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