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

106 customer reviews

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Tinkerlab: A Hands-On Guide for Little Inventors + 150+ Screen-Free Activities for Kids: The Very Best and Easiest Playtime Activities from FunAtHomeWithKids.com! + 101 Kids Activities That Are the Bestest, Funnest Ever!: The Entertainment Solution for Parents, Relatives & Babysitters!
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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: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (106 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #13,094 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

77 of 79 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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14 of 15 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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9 of 9 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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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful By M on July 17, 2015
Format: Paperback
I don't mean to be negative. This book is cute, the bright color photos and optimistic text are refreshing, and it has a few good ideas. I feel like my objections to this book could have been avoided if the book had a more honest, more descriptive title: Art Projects for Very Young Kids or Arts and Crafts for Toddlers, something like that. "Tinkerlab" implies some real experiments, real building projects, for kids at least out of the preschool years. I agree with the reviewer who said even 5-year-olds are too old for most of the projects in this book.

The first two-thirds of the activities mostly involve painting and paint related activities such as making complicated and messy homemade glue-based paint. Also, I have an allergy to activities that require many more hours on the part of the parent (setup, preparation, clean-up, supervision) than the total number of hours a child will realistically spend on the activity--if you have the same allergy, you will find only a few of these ideas useful.

Another objection is very minor--the author seems to have an obsession with what my grandparents used to call "museum of self." The book gives suggestions on many of the projects for how to make them archival quality, permanent, lasting. I'm sorry, but I do not fall for the belief that people want to receive endless gifts of blobbed paint on acid-free cardstock from a preschooler. Maybe grandma wants one a year. Reminds me of George Carlin's skit about how every child is special. Every blob of paint your preschooler drops on the paper is special and must be preserved for posterity!
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