What is TinkerSpace?

Learn More About TinkerSpace...

Play is the work of childhood.

~ Jean Piaget

We all need a safe place to fail.

TinkerSpace came about through a confluence of many events, but I'd like to tell you about one of the earliest realizations that led me down this path...

There was a period of time that my 3-year-old's greatest desire was to play with trains on wooden train tracks that I would put together for him. I realized how uncomfortable it made me to free-form design the track. We had purchased many individual pieces over the years and I did not have directions to follow in assembling the track. So, while I was fantastic at putting together puzzles, enjoyed recreating craft projects that I saw on the internet, and I could follow Lego instructions with ease, the thought of putting one track into the next not knowing if I was going to be able to connect the ends terrified me. It made me so uncomfortable that I realized I was telling him no or always making the same track that I had once made.

Upon realizing this was going on in my head, I noticed that my early school aged daughter was having similar difficulties. Her fear of making a mistake was crippling her in her school work and carrying over into her play.

A change needed to be made in our household!

TinkerSpace is Two Spaces in One...


A makerspace is a place to create, invent, tinker, explore and discover using a variety of tools and materials.

Many makerspaces and fab-labs for adults have high tech tools such as CNC routers and 3D printers. A children's maker space is lower-tech. Children need to hold things to experience them.

By making constructions out of cardboard and scissors or modeling with air-dry clay children are allowed to experiment and repeat the process enough that, maybe, they get frustrated with the lack of technology and then see that there is a better way. In this process, the technology is not plopped down in front of them where they simply follow instructions without definite understanding.


Through play, children learn about their world and synthesize their understanding.

Play takes many forms through the years of childhood and the play of early teenagers looks quite different from that of younger children.

TinkerSpace provides activities that can be engaged with on different levels to appeal to many ages.

Play requires user involvement and experimentation (tinkering) and provides a frame of reference to call up when learning about science, engineering, and other technical topics.