My new Etzy store TK TinkerSpace has been a the result of a new idea on an old theme. For me it is the convergence of various streams in my life. When I was growing up my father always had a woodshop where I was allowed to tinker. I invented many different useful and useless little contraptions. As I got older I earned the privilege of using more powerful (dangerous) tools. I remember when I turned 12 and got my first toolbox with a powerdrill (that I still have today).
Fast-forward to today when I find myself in a place where I can share the joy of inventing with children and you find me opening up an online shop. I came upon the idea through different people. Recently I attended a one-day workshop for Transitional Kindergarten teachers. The presenters were sharing their enthusiasm for the new “Makers” movement sweeping through the education community. YES! We are now encouraging the infusion of hands-on, project-based learning and technology-infused inventing in our classrooms, exposing children at young ages to the kind of tinkering I was a part of growing up.
I have already been a teacher for over 20 years but this new era is probably the most exciting I’ve seen. The new “Next Generation Science Standards” (NGSS), Preschool Learning Foundations (CPLF), and the Common Core (CCSS) are just a beginning. I approach the new adventure I’m involved in with optimism. I hope to help other teachers and families by making toys, games, and materials they can use to encourage little tinkers, inventors and entrepreneurs.