How do you motivate kids to tinker with projects?


I agree with all that others are saying. My challenge is that by the time tinkering gets to the verge of a fabulous maker discovery, it is already time to clean up and welcome the next class.

How do you deal with time constraints and limited space for leaving projects that aren’t finished yet?


When assigning a new project to kids ( computer web Game creations) I like to show them the finished project that I have created and then have them critique or add on any improvements that they would have done. Once that is settled I have them brainstorm to on their ideas and from there they create and play. Have them grouped up and see if it works or not and redesign it if it was too easy.
I think this route works for all types of students that are visual and nonvisual learning. Also, the student feedback is less harsh than it coming straight from me all the time. Plus, they learning something fun at the same time


Great idea!
I will do that next week!
I will make a simple project and improve it with my students.


But I find that if things to work correctly right away, kids just give up and say they’re bored. So many of their games are intuitive and easy to play that reading directions or investigating to learn seems to be too much to do. It’s disheartening to see this reaction when I have so much there for them to play with and learn.


I think it is about learning how to tinker… I come from a family of makers and am so grateful for opportunities as a kid to play with play dough, clay, plastercine, fabric, bread dough, paper, tape, wood etc.
Repeated opportunities with just some little demonstrations of technique has given my kids a lot of opportunities to develop ideas with plastercine. We sometimes do a gallery walk: everyone’s goodies on a central table and we do the walk around to check out ideas.
Another thing that worked well for sharing ideas was taking photos with my tablet and sharing them on a slideshow on the smart board. It was really neat to see everyones 10 piece lego builds in a larger than life scale.
I asked them to gather inspiration from each other for their next iteration.


We celebrate failure in my class as a way to promote taking chances. I remember touring EA Sports one day years ago and noticed a stuffed donkey, caution tape and other decorations next to one of the cubicles. This was a to indicate that the game was broken and the person in the cubicle was responsible. This was not done to humiliate, but to celebrate the fact that they were trying to push the game to new heights by taking chances. This has stuck with me throughout the years and used as a model for promoting failure with my students. Let’s stop scaring students with failure and explain that this is the point at which learning starts. Just imagine if our parents put us down every time we fell as we were learning to walk? We might all still be crawling instead of running!


I beleave in not to Let the children be alone, when they don’t know what to do. Let them think together iWe use to make an exemple all together, then in groups, they two&two make from a new problem . Example recently worked whit Bee-Bots


I think students should be comfortable to answer any question even if they think the answer might not be right.


This is a tricky one too. Sometimes too many things stop us from digging deeper into lateral thinking and how many different ways we could use the same tool or material. The Modern Art Museum pointed out that idea to me, and I have seen people be really overwhelmed by too many tools when we were doing gelli plate printing.
Having been a clutter bug much of my life, I’m really enjoying the idea of curating, of careful selection. I would propose a variety of some well chosen materials that answer kids’ passions. Sometimes parallel play could also help fire up their inner tinker.
Plastercine is one of my favourite all time art materials. I introduce some basic manipulation techniques one session, some joining techniques another and we share our creations. Those spark other ideas. I sometimes feel stingy because I don’t let them take 5 different tools, I let them have one and give a 5 second demonstration of some different ideas and leave them to it.