homedepot chicago

From Rain Delay to a perfect Hooooooooray!~

Posted: June 26th, 2015 | Author: | Filed under: Camp | No Comments »

After an all night thunder storm we woke up, had pancakes, and waited for the rain to clear.  It finally did about 11 o’clock and we ran back to the camp-site and got back to work.  The rain made more mud, and our mini-golf course needed some repair.  We tested over and over again and tweaked this and that until most of the kinks were worked out.  Then we went to task: trying to combine our two courses and  expand the last run.

Check out the video of the golf ball rolling down and around and through and awesome.  Click Here!






After we felt good and accomplished with our work we had a late lunch.  We took some time to digest and then headed over to swim, launch some water balloons, have a pizza party, and play.  We finished off the last night of camp with some reflection around the fire.  We all agreed that we had accomplished some wonderful things over the past week and had a ton of fun.






Mud Day!

Posted: June 25th, 2015 | Author: | Filed under: Camp | No Comments »

We started out this day with a thunder-storm.  After it passed we went out and worked on our putt-putt hole in one magic golf course until the next storm came through.  After the second storm passed we got back to work.  We made good progress and can see the next steps vividly.  Weather permitting our golf course/ball run will become sturdier, longer, and more detailed by lunch time tomorrow.

After the thunder passed we made our way down to the creek.  We hung up a swing, dipped our feet in the water, and eventually became fully enthralled by the mud wall.  The wall quickly became a mud slide, and we woohoooed! all the way up until dinner time!


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Quick Video Here

Putt-Putt and Paddles

Posted: June 24th, 2015 | Author: | Filed under: Camp | No Comments »

Our putt-putt golf course has proven to be a perfectly playful project.  The tinkerers have had ample chance to build, rebuild, test, retest, tinker, recalculate, and work through a variety of rich problems.

We can’t wait to get back to it in the morning.

*(If these videos are not displaying properly,  open them in a new tab by right clicking on the frame (and choosing from the drop down menu))

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We also found sometime for clay explorations this morning.  Some wonderful little creations were molded from the clay from the creek.








We spent the afternoon by the water.  We all took a turn paddling around in the canoe,  sprinting down the hill  and diving into the water, skipping stones (we collected from the creek yesterday), netting minnows, and playing games.

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Build, Play, Explore!

Posted: June 23rd, 2015 | Author: | Filed under: Camp | No Comments »

We did it today.  We built with focus, imagination, and persistence all through the morning. We played in the creek, explored, noticed all the lovely little creatures, went to the top of every climb-able tree, skipped stones, swam, played games, hiked, built dams, stacked rocks, etc.

It truly was a fantastic day.  The weather was cool in the morning, which was ideal for building.  As the day warmed up we moved into the creek.  We came back to the house for a nice leisurely dinner, played some games, and got into some more tinkering (with little toy motors).  We finished off the day singing songs around the camp fire, drawing, whittling, and recalling the fantastic day we spent together.


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*Tomorrow we will officially unveil our magnificent hole in one miniature golf course.  We made great progress today, and with a good work session tomorrow we should have a most excellent video to share by the end of the day.


Summer Time!

Posted: June 22nd, 2015 | Author: | Filed under: Camp | No Comments »


We kicked off this week of camp  with some warm summer weather.  When the campers arrived they explored the camp-site and the creek.  Then we introduced this weeks big project.

We are going to build the world’s longest hole in one miniature golf hole.  We started exploring the materials and made some outlandish plans.  Tomorrow we have the big fun of sorting out our ideas and trying to implement them.

After we got a good start on the project we had a cook-out and went over to the swimming hole to cool off.   We sauntered back to camp tired and laughing from a great first day.










Rain Dance

Posted: June 18th, 2015 | Author: | Filed under: Camp | No Comments »

We woke up to a wet world once again.  It rained all week and we danced right through it.  The resiliency of the tinkerers shone through over and over as we had maximum levels of fun and productivity despite the angry weather gods.

Today we started off slow, but found our stride riding up and down on the enormous teeter-totter (*now named Tinker Totter).  We discussed how we built it, and recalled all the obstacles we overcame to get there.

We had a nice long swim today as well.  The rain let up just long enough for us to truly enjoy splashing around.  After lunch the rain returned and we did the only thing we knew to do: go out and play in it!  We painted in the rain, it washed away, and we painted more.  Exquisite!


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Posted: June 18th, 2015 | Author: | Filed under: Camp | No Comments »


Today we balanced on the teeter-totter, we balanced stones in the creek, we had boisterous moments of fevered activity and a long stretch of down time.  We found all kinds of ways to achieve balance.

Balancing on the teeter totter takes communication.  If someone jumps off one side unannounced things can go awry.  We have to all work together to get on and off safely and watching the young tinkerers navigate their creation is nothing short of spectacular.

We got into some true tinkering with the see-saw.  The Tinkering School motto (Think, Make, Tinker) has officially fully played out.  We made minor improvement, tweaked it, tested it, played upon it, and celebrated all these small victories.

Balancing stones in the creek requires patience.  You are forced to take your time and focus your attention on how the weight of the rock sits on a precariously wet surface.  We all worked on our own and had time for personal creation.  The steady rain added a wonderful aura of calm to our creek walk.

Now we rest easy, yet anxiously await the work and adventure that tomorrow brings.




















These Pictures tell a fantastic story about our days at TSC ’15

Posted: June 16th, 2015 | Author: | Filed under: Camp | No Comments »

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All the things we have done, and what is to come

Posted: June 16th, 2015 | Author: | Filed under: Camp | No Comments »



Everybody has at some point said “It was a long day,” but rarely it is in the best possible way.   Today we had a long day filled with building, laughing, swimming, exploring the creek, hiding from the thunder showers, sitting around the fire, and oh so much more.

When you have a long day at Tinkering School Chicago you feel exhausted just the same, but it is ever so much more remarkable.  We can look back at all the work we have done and smile a big full proud grin.

We made serious progress on our large strange teeter-totter.  We continue to explore weight distribution and plan to do a redesign tomorrow.

We spent our long day in the woods being ready for whatever discovery came next.    And as we continue to work our way towards the longest day of the year, we will find many more solutions, much more laughter, and plenty of time to make the most of the sunshine that comes our way.











Rain, Rain, and Here Comes Summertime

Posted: June 14th, 2015 | Author: | Filed under: Camp | No Comments »



We kicked off Tinkering School Chicago’s overnight summer camp with a rain storm this year.

We had to retreat indoors, but still managed to build wild stuff: check out our mess! Big Fun!




Once the rain let up we set up camp and introduced the project for the year.  We are going to build a humongous teeter-totter (or see-saw) that has multiple people on one side (maybe 9) and a single person on the other side.  The tinkerers took to exploring the idea quite naturally.









We also found ample time to take a gorgeous rainy walk through the creek.  We rediscovered the clay deposits, found a ton of beautiful rocks, and involved ourselves in the bliss of being barefoot and strolling along, discovering, with our friends.