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, we got the PUZZLE BOX.
Everything arrives together in a single Tinker Crate – the supplies, a fold-out instruction sheet, and the Tinker Zine.
DEAL: Use this link to save 40% on your first box of Tinker Crate! (or Kiwi Crate and the KiwiCo family subscriptions Koala Crate and Doodle Crate).
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!
This month’s Tinker Zine discusses puzzles!
These pages indicate the evolution of puzzles and how each of these games namely, Roman Ring Lock, Puzzle Furniture, Japanese Puzzle Boxes and Modern Mechanical Puzzles, work.
We can create amazing puzzles by using simple science concepts like spinning through creative ways.
Here they explained how magnetic fields and shields work.
Tinker Crate Blueprint + Materials
Here are all the materials provided to build our own puzzle box!
The instructions and other essential project information are printed on a faux blueprint fold-out sheet.
It has a lot of explanatory notes, highlights on highly important and technical areas.
The sheet has an elaborate sequence of instructions to follow and be sure to check every detail before sticking the given adhesive.
For the latches of the magnet, you’ll need hooks, sticky foam circles, metal washers, latch pieces, sleeves, brads, cardboard washers, guard papers and sticky foam rectangles.
These are the materials needed for the doors with magnetic latches.
This side of the sheet contains a step-by-step procedure of the project with detailed illustrations.
These are the materials for the metal locks itself. These will complete the lock mechanism of the puzzle box.
The sticky foams are together in one adhesive so that they won’t easily be lost. This card looks like the top part of the box.
These are the stickers, cards for the sides and the bottom part of the puzzle box.
Tinker Crate Activities
We laid the info sheet flat on her activity table as the background so she won’t miss out on any of the instructions. The first thing she did was the front and back of the puzzle box.
She then put the sides of the puzzle box carefully.
She tries to flatten it all out so that the sides, top, and bottom are equally inserted and placed.
This is her finished product! Isn’t it a beauty?
Just move the magnet in front, the latches and the metals behind the front part of the box will also move. Just open the top part and you can unveil the secret inside.
Tinker Crate Extension Activities
Another activity to try is this Amazing Marble Puzzle. All you will need are two plastic bottles, hot glue gun & glue, and two marbles.
Last activity is Mags-periments! For this one, you will need two magnets, matchbox, tape, pile of paper clips, plastic ruler, butter knife, and flat test objects.
My daughter is great at following instructions by illustrations and details so she had fun doing the puzzle box and is in love with the final product, which relies on a secret magnet! Tinker Crate explains concepts by starting from the simpler things and then working on more complicated topics. It is easier for the kids to imagine magnets or spinning that can be used on other elaborate mechanisms. She was able to make a homemade safe because of this box!
Have you tried Tinker Crate yet with your kids?