Tinker Trays

Tinker Trays

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My students love to build. They love building with anything from wooden blocks to sticks and stones. For our activity today, I wanted to create some tinker trays to give them an opportunity to create anything they wanted, given a tray of loose parts. I made 5 trays for students to explore and build with. I did not give any particular instructions on what I wanted them to build because I wanted to see what they could come up with on their own.

tinker trays
Craft Material Tinker Tray

The craft material tinker tray included an assortment of craft supplies, from as pom poms, pipe cleaners and to elastics and tissue paper. The specific materials are not important, just a variety of materials.

tinker trays
Wheels and Axles Tinker Trays

The materials for this kit I accumulated over time. It includes wheels, axles, pulleys, and blocks. They can all attach to each other, which makes them perfect for building.

tinker trays
tinker trays
Brads (clips) and Foam Strips Tinker Tray

This tinker tray was more popular than I anticipated! The only materials in this tray were sparkly foam sheets cut in various rectangles and brads. The brads push through the sheets, but then open to fasten so the parts are movable. This lead to some really interesting creations.

tinker trays
tinker trays
Natural Story Play Tinker Tray

This tinker tray included a variety of natural materials. From glass stones to wooden people, this tray was really popular with all of my students. They created trees with the wood slices, and even created settings for stories.

tinker trays
tinker trays
tinker trays
Mechanic Tinker Tray

These loose parts were a great opportunity for kids to create and build using real screwdrivers and screws. They were excited to take some of the pieces apart and put others together.

tinker trays

Tinker trays are a great opportunity for kids to be creative and build at home, or at school. I am always amazed at what young kids envision, and then work to create, when they first see a bunch of loose parts. The ideas varied from child to child, but they all love being given the opportunity to create.

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