Against the backdrop of winter in New Jersey, the bright red and pink hearts brighten our days as we usher in Valentine’s Day. While this celebration has its roots in Christianity, the exchange of paper cards has been taking place for over one hundred years. At Mommy University, we love a fun celebration yet we always look for the opportunity to expand our children’s educational and developmental growth. We have recently incorporated a new activity called a Tinker Tray.
Tinkering is the act of repairing or improving which can be achieved through building, innovation, and amending the design of an object. During the Jonas snowstorm, as we watched Tinkerbell and learned about her power to tinker, I began to realize this is a wonderful opening for my children to be offered random objects and let them create. A Tinker Tray is simply a container with several options of different materials which offers the individual the use of their imagination to build. Through the process and testing different possibilities, they are learning through play.
To celebrate the creation of our first Tinker Tray, I thought I would make this a Valentine’s Day theme. What makes it so? A red container and a few items such as plastic hearts and items in red and pink color like the pipe cleaner. However, what makes Tinker Trays so much fun is that you can easily swap out one item for another which makes the outcome different.
Mommy University Presents
The Valentine’s Day Tinker Tray
- Container (red if you would like)
- Pipe Cleaners
- Plastic Hearts
- Play Doh
The Process of a Tinker Tray
We placed our Tinker Tray at our dining room table where the kids usually do a lot of their art projects, building projects, and activity books. A Tinker Tray is an invitation for children to play and explore which is what mine did. Let your kids use their imaginations and creativity to design, build and create their own masterpieces. While playing, kids are building visual, spatial, fine motor and cognitive skills! Who knew tinkering was so educational?
What are other items you would include in a Valentine’s Day Tinker Tray?