The Tinkering Workshop

Explore, Invent & Build with Everyday Materials; 100 Hands-On STEAM Projects


By Ryan Jenkins

Formats and Prices




$25.99 CAD



  1. Trade Paperback $19.99 $25.99 CAD
  2. ebook $12.99 $16.99 CAD
  3. Hardcover $29.99 $38.99 CAD

Encourage youngsters to get creative with this activity book that illustrates the principles of science–full of fun projects!

Gather some basic tools and supplies from a hardware store, garage, basement, woodshop, or recycling bin. Now get ready to tinker, explore, and engineer with screws, bendy wire, metal washers, plastic pipes, dowels, electronics, LED lights, and more! Makerspace educator Ryan Jenkins inspires kids aged 8 to 12 to look at familiar supplies in new and unexpected ways, to think with their hands, troubleshoot tricky constructions, and sharpen their problem-solving skills. Kids are invited to imagine how to use the supplies on hand with projects, such as building Flexible Forts with cardboard and screws, making Art Robots with hobby motors, constructing a Water Factory with plastic pipes, balancing Sky Trams on strings, and engineering Surprising Switches with wire and foil. As they build, they'll learn about balance, center of gravity, comparative measuring, electricity, and more. Engaging photography jump-starts hours of curiosity and creativity. Start with a string, PVC pipe, cardboard ramp, or flexible tube—and see where it leads!

  • The projects in the book will spark the tinkerer in all of us.
    Mike Petrich, co-author of The Art of Tinkering and Director of the Informal Learning Center at Exploratorium
  • A rich source of inspiration and playful learning ... Whether you're an educator, parent, grandparent or simply curious, this book not only sparks a passion for tinkering with common materials, but also cultivates creative, innovative thinking to solve real-world challenges.
    Cate Heroman, early childhood consultant and author of Making and Tinkering with STEM: Solving Design Challenges with Young Children
  • The Tinkering Workshop is a new 'must have’ addition to any school makerspace, community DIY space, or kitchen table ... Kids will love browsing through the quirky projects and step by step instructions and photos, and simple guides to exploring everyday materials in a host of useful ways!
    Sylvia Libow Martinez, co-author of Invent to Learn: Making, Tinkering, and Engineering in the Classroom
  • Introducing children to tinkering and the open-ended exploration of physical materials could not be more urgent, as children are spending more and more time on screens. Ryan’s delightful book will capture their imagination and encourage them to create new things from simple materials. These basic hands-on interactions can lay the foundation for them becoming makers with a mindset that they learn to do almost anything.
    Dale Dougherty, creator of Make: Magazine and Maker Faire
  • [Tinkering Workshop] feels like a buddy cheering you on in the fun (and sometimes challenging) process of tinkering and trying something new and unknown. Each page is enticing not just for the eyes but also for the hands: the images are so beautiful and tactile that I almost feel like I’m running my fingers across the grain of wood, or smooth metal, or flowing water, as I read ... The book is packed with project ideas and techniques that are brilliantly simple and accessible, but also enable endless play and exploration.
    Jie Qi, artist and cofounder of Chibitronics
  • The beautiful graphic design and engaging presentation will have kids eagerly pulling this book off the shelves, ready to dive into their next tinkering adventure ... Highly recommended.
    School Library Journal

On Sale
Oct 15, 2024
Page Count
168 pages

Ryan Jenkins

About the Author

Ryan Jenkins is the co-founder of Wonderful Idea Co., a design studio that creates resources to support STEAM education and the development of 21st century skills. He’s a leader in the field of making and tinkering education and partners with children’s museums, schools, universities, professional organizations, companies, and funders. He’s a former tinkerer and educator at the Exploratorium in San Francisco and developed summer curriculum for kids at the Tinkering School that blended large scale construction with learner-centric investigations of electronics, robotics, and programming. He has written for Make Magazine and is a regular contributor to the Tinkering Studio Blog at the Exploratorium. He lives in California.

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