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Sunday 14 September 2014

TinkerLab Workshop

Today was a day for tinkering fun.

To celebrate the recent launch of the wonderful kids' creativity book "TinkerLab: A Hands-On Guide for Little Inventors" we headed down south to Los Altos to a fun event hosted by the book's author Rachelle Doorley. The event was held at Helix, the Silicon Valley outpost of San Francisco's Exploratrium

The book launch was such a fun event. First up Rachelle demonstrated making "Slime" which is one of the 55 fun projects featured in her book. The kids were all fascinated watching the simple ingredients come together to make something so gloriously gooey, oozy and bouncy all at the same time. They couldn't get enough of the gloopy stuff. Mathilde especially couldn't keep her hands out of it - but, thankfully, kept it out of her mouth!

Then there was another fun project from the book set up for kids to work on: Marker Explosions. The kids drew on small cotton bags with permanent marker. Once they were done with their drawings the magic ingredient was added: rubbing alcohol. Just a few drops of rubbing alcohol squeezed onto the drawing with a pipette and BOOM! An explosion of colour spread across the fabric. This worked especially well with Lola's squiggle drawings but made a bit of a mess out of Ava's carefully drawn self portrait. She was still pretty happy with the result though and is super eager to try it out again - with some more abstract drawings this time, perhaps. 

The girls then set out to try all of the exciting hands on exhibits at Helix. Some they recognised from the Exploratorium, while others were completely new to them. They especially enjoyed playing with the magnetic filings (I just had to buy some for home as this was a big favourite of mine in school), making light patterns on the walls, spinning balls and various items on the giant turntable, and looking at an image of themselves on a screen through an infrared heat camera. Check us out below. We make one creepy looking family. I mean, those white eyes and Ava's glasses. Scary!



Big thanks to Rachelle Doorley, Helix and Sprogs (who provided the very yummy catering) for such a wonderful event. We had such a great time and look forward to filling our days with tinkering, tinkering and more tinkering! 

You can purchase "TinkerLab: A Hands-on Guide for Little Inventors" here.

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