Tinker Crate is a subscription box that inspires kids to learn about science, engineering, and technology, all while having lots of fun. Each month, the box explores a field of study within a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) discipline. Kids practice their problem-solving skills and learn how to engage in both structured and open-ended exploration and investigation. Most boxes walk the tinkerers through the construction of fairly complex mechanical devices.
This month’s theme is WALKING ROBOT!
Everything arrives together in a single Tinker Crate – the supplies, a fold-out instruction sheet, and the Tinker Zine.
The main project is always a great hands-on activity and a great demonstration of the scientific principles featured in the box, but the Tinker Zine is full of well-written, historically and scientifically accurate background and explanatory materials. This where the lessons really take shape!
The instructions and other project info are printed on a faux blueprint fold-out sheet.
One side of the sheet has pointers for using your newly-constructed device, plus an inventory of all the supplies provided in the Crate.
The other side contains highly-detailed illustrated instructions with lots of explanatory blurbs, close-ups of technical areas, and arrows to show where parts are to be placed.
They give you enough information at every step that you never have to guess what to do next. It also includes checkpoints to verify that assembly is going properly, plus, there is help available if needed!
The Tinker Zine does a great job of explaining the technology and introducing it in a way that catches the interests of the kids. This issue started out by introducing Asimov’s Three Laws of Robotics and defining just what a robot is.
The Zine’s articles are very thorough, and they use accurate scientific terminology to describe the explored phenomena, yet it’s really well suited to the target age.
The educational approach is great for a variety of learners – historical examples are used to illustrate the scientific principles in action, and there is always a balance of text, pictures, diagrams, and hands-on activities.
This page introduces us to Curiosity Rover Robot, the lone robot roving Mars. It also includes a brief history and a rundown of the parts of the most advanced robot sent to the red planet.
The Zine encourages lots of further thought on the topic, prompting deeper consideration of how robots can impact our lives. As of now, these “what if” questions are just stuff of dreams but the answers could be the starting point for the robots in the future.
The kit includes all the materials needed to construct your own walking robot. Your kid can either use all of these or add household things to make their robot unique and extraordinary!
Here are our little scientists in action!
Constructing a robot needs extensive concentration and great analyzing skills.
They did not even ask for any assistance in building this robot. I saw the determination and willingness of my kids to finish this project together on their own!
Just a few more finishing touches and they are done. This robot will be awesome!
My kids had a great time building their robot, and the result is just amazing. Their persistence and careful attention to the instructions really paid off! My son certainly thought it was epic!
This robot can walk forward and backward. Here it is in action. High fives all around!
I like how Tinker Crate teaches children how to think outside the box, encouraging them to go beyond the initial project and create a unique robot of their own.
The Tinker Zine suggested some really cool mods for the robot!
Tinker Crate has always been great, and this Walking Robot crate was no exception! It has a perfect balance of learning, building, and playing – you never build a static model, and there is always some tinkering, experimentation, or other use of the project once it is built. Tinker Crate’s projects and supporting materials make complex scientific and engineering principles easy for kids to understand and see in action. It is a superb activity for evenings, weekends, and school vacations, as it is always fun and keeps kids mentally engaged.
Have you tried Tinker Crate yet with your kids?