Are you frozen with anticipation about how you'll keep your kids busy all winter long? We've recently introduced our kids to tinker trays for open ended and creating STEM learning. This icy themed invitation to explore is sure to melt away boredom in a flash!
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We first discovered tinker trays from Meri Cherry! Since then my neighbor BFF and I have been creating them to trade back and forth to keep the kids inspired and creative over and over again!
You can include anything you have on hand at home but our trays typically include recycled materials. This one certainly kept us quiet and busy on a cold winter afternoon while her little brother napped.
Our winter inspired tinker tray includes straws of different sizes, recycled foam packing sheets, lollipop sticks, plastic swizzle sticks, IncredibleFoam, tape, scissors, and fuzzy sticks from Craft Project Ideas.
I keep a tray on hand to toss any little interesting odds and ends for a future tinker tray. You don't need to theme your trays but we decided to inspire winter STEM creations with ours.
Our STEAM winter exploration included:Science: We discussed how water changes in the cold. How do you find different forms of water in nature in the winter?
Technology: As we had a conversation about snowflakes, icicles, and fractals, we used the internet to look up vivid and beautiful pictures to inspire our creations.
Engineering: Once we had an idea, we had to discover how to make it with the materials we had on hand.
Art: Our creations became beautiful masterpieces, don't you agree?
Math: We talked about how snowflakes are symmetrical and counted the sides of the ones we made together.
Have you ever created a tinker tray for your children? I would love to know what you included.
Even for our winter themed tray I already have ideas for supplies that I can add to freshen it up next time. Wouldn't blue sticky tack be a neat addition?
More Winter STEM Ideas from the Early Childhood Education Team:
Snowball Catapult Alphabet Activity by Mom Inspired Life
Winter STEM Activity - Build a Snowflake by Fun-A-Day\
Winter STEM for Preschool: Evergreen Tree Construction Challenge by The Preschool Toolbox Blog
Gingerbread House Construction Ideas by The Educators' Spin On It
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