Tinker box loose part play is such an easy activity for kids
One person’s junk is another person’s freaking awesome toddler activity. I am pretty 99% sure that’s how the phrase goes. In any event, I put together an amazing tinker box for my son the other day and we have now hit the hours of play mark with it.
You have to build one of these! 10/10 highly recommend.
RELATED: Looking for more awesome kids activities? Check out this amazing list!
What is a tinker box? What’s loose parts?
A tinker box is a terrific way to invite your child to engineer, imagine, and create. With a tinker box, the possibilities for their ideas are endless.
Loose parts play is so important. This is an imagination wonderland for children: a chance to create, build, and design.
There is no right or wrong way to loose parts play or tinker: the importance is in giving these opportunities to kids to freely explore.
Here are some skills that tinkering with loose parts promotes:
- Independent play
- Motor skills
- Hand-eye coordination
- Problem solving
Grab a tub: let’s make a tinker box!
- Tub or container (this is my favorite one!)
- Junk from around your house
When I was building this tinker box, I was specifically looking for items I thought might inspire my son. Items that could hook together, come apart, and be made into something new all together.
This definitely wasn’t a sensory box. This was a box designed to invent and create with.
This tinker box was so much fun!
I had high hopes that my son (3) would enjoy this and right I was!
We are going on 4 days with this silly old thing and every time he goes to it, he stays for up to 20 minutes. That’s a lot of minutes for a lot of junk!
I filled this bin with the most random things that I could find. Here’s some of what’s in my bin:
- Dishwasher hose (an old one)
- Plant containers
- Bungee cord
- Pipe cleaners
- Glue and Tape
- Toilet paper tubes
- Clothes pin
There truly is so much learning in this activity!
What I’m loving is the fine motor skills work he’s doing with all the projects he’s creating. I’m also totally into the reasoning, logic, and problem solving as he works pieces together and designs his latest invention.
Not to be outdone, but Baby Sister (15 months) is also loving this box. She’s been seen quite a few times tinkering herself – I can’t wait until she’s old enough to really join her brother in the building and design process.
Truly, you’ve got to try a tinker box!
If you have a spare few minutes, a kiddo who needs a project, and some extra junk lying around – the tinker box is your kind of activity!
In just under 5 minutes, I created a box of inviting equipment for my son to work with – and bought myself a whole lot of independent toddler play time too!