Let Build Forts!

Posted: October 8th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Projects, Tinkering, Workshops | No Comments »

 

This Friday, Saturday and Sunday we will be building forts in partnership with the Winnetka Park District

Fort Building is a universal pursuit of childhood. All ages are invited tojoin Winnetka Park District and Tinkering School Chicago as we spend the long holiday weekend using simple natural materials to build something truly amazing.  Children’s imaginations come to life as they learn skills in a creative project focused environment.  Working with others to create a special place all their own, children will forge lasting memories, connect with nature, and be part of an awe inspiring collaborative project. Drop in whenever you want to build, create, play, or just be inspired.

Times
4-7 pm (Friday)
12-7 pm (Saturday)
10 am-2 pm (Sunday)

Come to Crow Island Woods and we will build something incredible!

 

DSC03530


Friday. The Bitter-Sweetness of the Last Full Day of Camp.

Posted: July 26th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Uncategorized | No Comments »

As we sit around the fire on the last night of camp.  We are filled with joy.  We are brimming with pride.  We have had an incredible week.

We are reminded of the fact that anything we describe as incredible, amazing, magnificent, awesome, etc. is also very difficult.

We worked hard this week.  Camping in the forest isn’t easy, taking in vast amounts of information is hard, designing and building and a massive pallet fortress is a challenge.

But when we collect ourselves around the fire and recount the impossible ways we have spent our days, we are filled with the pride and joy of knowing that all the perservering was worth it.  We built epic things.  We made great friends.  We created memories that will last a life time.

DSC06008

 

DSC06025

 

DSC06034

 

DSC06047

 

DSC06052

 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 

 


Build Big: Thursday at TSC

Posted: July 24th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Uncategorized | No Comments »

When we find time to really dig into a project, we have moments where the work is exciting and comes easy.  We have moments were it is difficult to keep plugging away.  We have ways to keep going, and those moments where we just know we need to rest.

We kept going all morning, paused for lunch and got right back to it.  Our pallet structure passed milestones today.  It was awesome, then it was really good, and now that is has reached epic status, we are more excited and focused than ever.

We built a big long bridge from one cube to the next.  Then we built a double decker that will serve as the look-out tower.  We know what we have to do tomorrow to make it all really come together, but for now we pause, play, and plan.

DSC06003

 

DSC06005

 

DSC08229 DSC08242

 

DSC08260

 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 

DSC08256

 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA


Wednesday at Tinkering School Chicago: Building, Adventures, and Clay

Posted: July 24th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Uncategorized | No Comments »

Once again we woke up and began work straight away.  We made serious progress on our pallet fortress.  The poles we are using slide right into the middle section of the pallet.  This discovery led us to some quick production of big key parts to our ever-evolving structure.

DSC05961

 

 

DSC08235

 

 

 

 

 

DSC08234

 

While some of us continued building, Adult Collaborator Chloe set up a clay project.  First we collect clay from the creek.  Then we squish it, mix it, play with it, and start creating.  After we finish, we then let the creations bake in the sun all day.  Once they have dried out significantly, we use the camp fire to finish them.

DSC08199

 

 

DSC08185

 

 

DSC05991

Of course, we also found some time to play in the creek.


OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 

It was a big, gorgeous day of building and playing in the woods.


Posted: July 22nd, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Uncategorized | No Comments »

The Tinkerers are always excited on the first morning of camp.  This morning began early, with a flurry of activity.  By 7:00 a.m. the young builders were clamping, drilling, and sawing.  While some worked on the pallet structure we are all building the others took the time to free build.  Hamza built a gorgeous little table (shown below as a work in progress)


DSC08110

 

 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 

DSC08144

 

DSC08127

 

 

After we had worked until our hearts were content, we paused for lunch.  Over lunch we unanimously decided that we should take a break.  The day was starting to warm, and so with full bellies we meandered over to the swimming spot.  It is a nice walk , about a mile or so. We arrived jubilantly and enjoyed this small peaceful lake.  The afternoon slipped away with us laughing and playing in the water.

DSC08156

DSC08162

 

DSC08170

 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 

As we walked back we made plans.  We took too are work again, as much as the afternoon sun allowed.  Then after a delicious dinner we rested back by the fire to sing songs, recount the day, and look forward to what tomorrow brings.

 

DSC08102

 


Tinkering School Chicago ’14: Building with Pallets

Posted: July 21st, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Uncategorized | No Comments »

The second session of Tinkering School Chicago this summer has begun!   On this fine summer day we begin a project that will last us the week.  We are building with shipping pallets.  We have found a perfect location and all the materials.  Now we begin to develop our understanding of how to build with these large pieces.  We drill, hammer, saw, measure, and become familiar.  We make big plans, and get really strategic about how to execute them.

 

We worked hard this evening to learn how to fasten to pallets together so that they are super sturdy.  Tomorrow we will continue to learn, while we also put our knowledge, skills, and imaginations to the tests.

 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 

DSC08093


Thursday at Tinkering School Chicago was astounding!

Posted: July 17th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Camp | No Comments »

When we stopped and took a look at what we had done this week.

We amazed ourselves!

On the last night of camp we had one more camp-fire and ask everyone what their favorite part of the week was.  Tinkerers spoke of working for 3 hours on a project and feeling like it and only been 10 minutes.  Of making astonishing discoveries exploring the creek.  We spoke of the joy and beauty of sitting around a campfire after a big long day of summer fun.  And perhaps best of all we recount the way we have all become friends.

 

DSC05908

 

 

DSC05919

 

 

 

DSC05920

 

 We are Builders.

 

DSC05931

We are Explorers.

 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 

 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

We are Friends.

 


Wednesday at Tinkering School: Perfect weather and inexplicable amounts of fun

Posted: July 17th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Camp | No Comments »

Typically in mid-July in central Illinois we have to battle the heat.  But on this Wednesday at Tinkering School Chicago, we experienced the most gorgeous day ever recorded.  It was perfect for building, playing, and exploring, and that is just what we did.

While the water balloon launchers rested, some of us built a  shelf to display all our nature discoveries and the others continued our annual clay explorations.

As the afternoon sun rose and warmed up the day some of us  took a walk over to the swimming hole, while the rest stayed behind to work with adult collaborator Patrick and make the most delicious pies ever recorded in human history.

 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

DSC05900

 

DSC05902

.


Launch! Launch! Launch!

Posted: July 16th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Camp | No Comments »

We launched water ballon after water ballon after water balloon today. . . . .   With the contraption we built yesterday, and bit of strategy we where able to consistently hit around our target.  We had so many near misses.  So many times just over the top of the target. . . . . and then finally we hit once twice and now we are ready.  Now for the next step in our mission.   Send a small water proof camera into the air and wing water balloons right at it!

 

 

DSC05880

 

 

 

DSC05836
DSC05883

DSC05886


L1130351

L1130386 L1130389 L1130391

Our goal was dampened by a stiff wind that made the balloons a quick and sporadic moving target.  We improvised, pulled out all the stops, and had a ton of summer fun along the way.

 

Tomorrow we will try again in the evening, when the wind typically calms.

 


Water Ballon Launching, a tree fell, and a nice rain storm

Posted: July 15th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Camp | No Comments »

We began the day slowly.  Experimenting with the water balloons themselves.  Can we put a water balloon inside a water balloon?  What about an air balloon inside a water balloon or vice versa?  You get the idea.

DSC07977

 

 

When we broke off into project groups we began to explore how to build out the water balloon launcher so that 2 people don’t have to hold it while someone else pulls back.  It is fun to launch with the 3-person method, but hard to achieve any degree of accuracy, which seems to be our goal.

DSC05786

DSC05809

We also fell a huge dead tree that was way too close to our campsite.  It looked decayed and as if it might fall any minute.  But as it turns out, it was really sturdy. I suppose it may have stood there dead for another 50 years, although the branches were giving way.  We axed and sawed while keeping tension on a rope that looped around another tree.  It is of the utmost importance to control which way the tree falls.  After about 2 hours of good hard work, we finally achieved what at moments seemed impossible.

DSC05715

 

 

 

 

 

DSC05730

As we explored the creek after lunch a hard rain began to fall.  We took shelter for a couple of hours while the thunder boomed outside.  We played ping pong, cards, board games, and whatnot until the storm finally moved on.

DSC05760

 

DSC05773

 

DSC05779
After dinner we got a nice sturdy example of what an accurate water balloon launcher might look like.  The design is essentially an A-frame flipped on its side.  We are looking forward to further testing tomorrow.

DSC08011

 

 

 

DSC08015