[Week 5 Activity] Time for Tinkering


At the child center I work at, some kids and I experimented with paper. We decided to use this material to build and shape it in different ways, such as origami. We decided to find one of the books the center already had for inspiration and direction. At first, we began with the examples given in the book, but by the end of our time we ended up making our own variations of what we had already made.


This week, I was given the opportunity to “tinker” with Scratch. I animated my names as well as described my passions. For me, I have always been naturally creative, but I have always struggled with new technology. My tinkering process with scratch consisted of watching the tutorials closely and trying to replicate what they did. Naturally this was a trail and error process for me. I eventually managed to complete my projects, but I wish they would have been a little “outside the box”. Nevertheless, I am pleased with what I created, and I know that with more tinkering, I will eventually master the program.


This is wonderful playful time! I like all the brilliant ideas. I can not wait to face the challenges for the tinker project.


(Disclaimer: sorry the picture is upside down!)
My tinkering for this activity was creating a brain with some of my classmates. We created a brain out of straws and pipe cleaners. We did an activity to understand how situations effect brain development in children. Instead of listening to a lecture on this topic, we were able to play and tinker with the materials in collaboration with each other.


I really enjoyed your project! In fact, it inspired me to use it for student-teaching and even my own classroom someday! We can make such interactive lessons and interesting programs for our students to manipulate and learn from.


Material: Pipe cleaners
Experiment: How many shapes can you make with 3 pipe cleaners?
I choose to take 3 pipe cleaners and see how many shapes I can create with them. At first, the shapes that I recreated was a circle, square, triangle and rectangle. Those came easily because they are the most commonly used shapes. With a little more thought I created a heart, octagon, and hexagon. The most diffcult shape to recreate was a star. (There were too many triangle sides and not enough materials) Then after I created actually shapes, I began to create my own shapes. This part was fun and very challenge. It required alot more creativity.

Reflection: This was actually more diffcult then I thought it would be. Without instructions you are obligated to use your imagination.


This week, I tinkered with the concept of Scratch. From first glance at basic tutorials, I thought it would be easy. I found out that I underestimated how much of a learning experience tinkering with different scripts actually would be. I went from frustration to excitement about how my animations were turning out. I was working on the name and favorite things animations and think that compared to my first attempts, the more that I tinkered with settings, the more familiar with the platform I became.


That’s kind of a cool experience. I have never done that before though.


This is so creative! I like how you used daily items to create your own work. This is a good activity to involve everyone in the classroom especially in low-income setting where it is harder to obtain extra resources and materials.


This week I definitely tinkered with the Scratch program. Actually, I am still learning how to work things on this website. It was very frustrating at the beginning because I had no idea how to make an animation or name. As time passed, I felt more comfortable using it. Being able to click, listen, and fail helped me focus on the postiive things of using this program.


Thank you, Angie! That is a great thought! I did not even think about that when I was making it, but that is very true that it would work well for a setting where children do not have access to as many resources.


That is such a creative idea! I like how you reflected on your childhood and used that as a catalyst for your project. Your chair is really cool!


I love that idea, creating activities for exploration and use of materials. I also love he modelling process but then letting the children create for themselves.


For this activity I decided to tinker on the scratch website since I was having a little trouble with my previous animations, etc I definitely had no idea how to use “scratch code” very well but after “tinkering around” I learned a lot! i even figured out how to get things to “fly” across the screen… even though it looked like my cat was flying backwards!



When I first had to decide what to tinker with, I truthfully had a little bit of panic. I’ve said this before: I don’t consider myself a creative person. I had all these questions of what do I make? What material will I use? How does one tinker? And in all honesty, I don’t think I’d make a good tinker-er in the end. But I surprised myself with how well this went. I have a bracelet that has come apart and needed to take some time and sit and figure out a way to fix it. I thought this would be the perfect way to incorporate some tinkering into something that I needed to get done anyway.

The materials I used were bamboo cord and a couple of clasps and a pendent. I needed to find a way to organize the cord and clasps with a series of knots in order to make the bracelet the right length and to make sure it wouldn’t come apart again. I had to modify some bits of it because I had lost an integral piece that holds the whole thing together.

I don’t know that I would necessarily use the word playful in this. I found it more work than play as I tried to sort out what needed to be placed where and through some trial and error, how to make various pieces of this whole. I did feel like I did quite a bit of exploration and experimentation though and in the end felt accomplished and happy with my final product!

Reflecting on this after the fact, I think I approached this with very little creativity in mind but in ultimately it was the creativity along with the experimentation of it that got me to my final product. It’s quite rare in my life that I sit down and make time to do anything creative like this. I find that I often have a lot of time to play during my days and I’m incredibly grateful that I’ve found myself a life that calls for a lot of play, but personally, I don’t usually find “play” and “creativity” to fall hand in hand. I often find myself stressed out when I need to do something creative and spend more time worrying about what it’s going to look like than enjoying the process of it.



I was tinkering with the Scratch website, making “My favorites” module about a band class since one of my favorite things is music! I was in music classes for years growing up so this was a fun technology to explore. I had never experimented with this idea of adding music to “sprits” as they called them and I thought it was fun! And satisfying! I started the project thinking I wouldn’t know how to add the movement and sounds to the manipulatives but as I tried out new thing I was able to figure it out!


Here is my latest project where I pushed myself out of my comfort zone. I forced myself to remix, learn, deal with failure, and then share it all.



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