Tinkerlab blog tour and giveaway

tinkerlabcoverNote: I was given a review copy of this book and there are affiliate links in this post. Thanks!

Friends, I think you’re going to love today’s post. I’m giving away a copy of my friend Rachelle Doorley’s incredible new book Tinkerlab to one lucky Simple Kids reader!

7.28.14 This giveaway is now closed and winners will be announced soon.  Thanks!



I know that many of you are familiar with Rachelle’s wonderful blog and with her creative challenges and prompts. I personally am a big fan of both. I have felt a connection to Rachelle and her work with kids and her artistic voice ever since I discovered her blog a few years ago. In the crowded world of kid blogging, Tinkerlab stands out and part of the reason is the very talented writer behind it.

So, I was really excited to learn last year that Rachelle was writing a book and I jumped at the chance to be a part of the Tinker-Circle group as she was writing and to help promote this incredible resource through the blog tour team.

The day our copy of Tinkerlab, a Hands-On Guide for Little Inventors: 55 Playful Experiments That Encourage Tinkering, Curiosity, & Creative Thinking arrived the kids and I were thrilled! This is a gorgeous book to look at, but more than inspiring pictures, there are so many projects and ideas and Rachelle encourages you and your kids to “tinker” – to create, explore, find that inner artist and just to play.

Hmmm, tinkering, creating, exploring, and curiosity.  Yes, that sounds perfect for the Fleck kids!


I think the arts and crafts are one of the best tools we can give our kids (and ourselves) for self expression. No two people, including kids, will approach art or the process of creating art in exactly the same way. This book not only encourages that individual “tinkering” but celebrates it.

Tinkerlab takes the kids craft book to the next level:  beyond just amazing projects (and there are some truly unique ideas here), Rachelle goes into the hows and whys of tinkering, encouraging parents to embrace the mess (one of my personal mottos) and to see mistakes as gifts.

Sprinkled throughout the book, like little gems, are some thought-provoking essays by various authors that this artist/mama/maker found really inspiring and helpful.  My favorite, as a parent who also strives to live simply, is the essay on the benefits of basic materials by Jennifer Winters, the director of Bing Nursery School at Stanford University.

How much do the kids and I love this book? So much so that just spending a summer with it hasn’t been enough.  Tinkerlab and it’s wonderful 55 play experiments will be included in our 2014-2015 homeschool curriculum, though honestly I think this one will be in our hearts and on our creative table for a long time to come.

The Giveaway

One lucky winner TWO lucky winners will receive one copy of the book Tinkerlab.

To enter

Answer the following question in the comments on this blog post (if you’re reading via a reader or email, you’ll have to click through and visit the blog to leave your answer): What are your child’s current favorite creative materials?

Note: this giveaway is open to residents of the US, the UK, Australia, and Canada.  This giveaway will end at midnight EST on Friday July 25, 2014. Winners will be chosen by random.org. Thanks and good luck!

Can’t wait?

If you can’t wait to get your hands on a copy of Tinkerlab for you and your kids (and who can blame you?) then head to your favorite bookseller.

Buy Tinkerlab here:

blog tour 2

Want to visit the rest of the blogs with sneak peeks and giveaways on the Tinkerlab tour? Here’s the lineup of the blogs following Simple Kids on the tour:

About Kara

Kara Fleck is the editor of Simple Kids. She is a small town mama, writer, knitter, bookworm, and hooligan. Kara lives in Indiana with her husband Christopher and their four children Jillian, Max, Lucy, and Amelia. You can find more of her writing at KElizabethFleck.com.

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  1. at the moment my son is obsessed with paper cutting. he’s getting very detailed, its insane!

  2. My son is getting creative with the modeling beeswax lately, while my daughter can’t get enough watercoloring.

  3. Boxes! And paint and playdoh.

  4. Lawana Gray says:

    My oldest loves colored pencils, and my younger is into scissors!

  5. Sara S. says:

    My girls’ favorites are paper and anything they can get their hands on to write with!

  6. Michele says:

    Maybe not the most PC answer but my 7.5yo son has been really enjoying playing with Minecraft this past month or so. What he creates has been pretty amazing to see. When he’s offline, he enjoys playing with cardboard and construction paper.

  7. The favorite around here lately is felt.

  8. Both kids are quite obsessed with masking tape and cardboard tubes.

  9. My daughter loves watercolor paints and paper!

  10. My kids love to play with paper and glue and tape. They have been making all sorts of things, it is awesome!

  11. My son is all about markers at the moment. He’s five, and his drawings have suddenly become so imaginative and intricate.

  12. Found materials…rocks, flowers, sticks, pinecones…

  13. Becca B says:

    My daughter (3.5) loves to cut and paste paper. Give her some construction paper and a pair of scissors and she’s entertained for an hour! My son (6) loves to just draw with his markers. I recently bought him his own sketch pad and he’s been busy filling it with his awesome drawings.

  14. Hmmm. . . . I guess, art supplies. She loves to draw amazingly detailed pictures. If I ask her, she can tell me huge back stories for everyone and everything on the page. She can tell me what’s happening and why. It’s pretty darn amazing.

  15. My son loves playing with cardboard and using scrap paper to draw out stories.

  16. Heather C says:

    This summer my kids have been into sketching in their sketch books with charcoal pencils and paper stomp blenders.

  17. Kristen L says:

    My sons are loving watercolors and a Spirograph right now.

  18. My son 6 years favorite creative material is toilet paper rolls/wrapping paper rolls and tape and natural materials of all kinds. My 4 year old daughter has mostly been enjoying paint/markers and paper. Tinkerlab looks like a wonderful book that we would really enjoy!

  19. My 5-year-old daughter has been enjoying making “food” out of felt. My 2-year-old boy’s sculpting medium of choice tonight was mashed potatoes. Yesterday, he fingerprinted with ketchup.

  20. Lindsay Partridge says:

    Definitely sidewalk chalk!

  21. Emily Higgins says:

    My two boys love building with PVC pipes. They come up with all kinds of things. Their imagination never ceases to amaze me.

  22. my three year old loves GLUE. in the stick form. she uses it all the time, always reaches for it first. she is happy even just ripping up construction paper, and glueing the bits one by one onto another sheet of paper.

  23. Tape and straws!

  24. siobhan says:

    My 4 yr old daughter will sit for hours drawing and colouring amazingly detailed pictures while imagining she’s in school. She has full conversations with “friends” and her “teacher”. She is so eager to learn and create. She also loves to play the piano. Making up tunes and songs as she goes. :)

  25. Pam McCollough says:

    Dinosaurs, Dinosaurs, Dinosaurs as far as the eye can see. For 3 solid years now. He scoures the house for things like blue sheets to make the ocean and green towels to make Pangea adding little trees and rocks to complete the project. Most of it is done outside but winters are cold in Colorado so we must get creative.

  26. Stamps, all the stamps! And construction paper, and walls!

  27. My daughter has discovered mud, and loves paint.
    My son spends a lot of time with grease and oil.

  28. mud, grease, oil, and paint are this weeks favorites

  29. My 7 year old likes to take bits of stuff (old bottles, toothpicks, rubber bands) and turn them into…something.
    My five year old prefers creating with Lego.
    My just-turned-four year old loves to paint.

  30. My kids are loving the Sharpies right now.

  31. Blue painter’s tape, chop sticks, cardboard, and rubberbands!


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