Tinkering with Creativity
When I was little I would go to my grandma’s house and play in her playroom with toys that she had kept from when her kids were little…toys that were my mother’s toys. Funny thing is that my mother kept some of them and now has them in her home that MY kids play with…3 generations of kids who played with the same toys. The funniest part is that these toys could have very well been my grandmother’s when she was little and this could be the fourth generation. What kind of toy has been around for 100 years (this year!!) and is as fun and relevant in today’s technological world as it was in 1914 – the year that World War 1 started?? TinkerToy!
My kids love to build. And my guess is that with the popularity of Legos many other kids enjoy this too. My kids have been Lego collectors since they were little…and they still are. Each new set collected and built and played with and enjoyed. Usually it is a specific set, with specific instructions to be set up in a specific way. Now, I know they can be used in other ways…but usually they are not.
We recently received a box of new TinkerToy. I don’t know when they started using the plastic tinker toys….tried to look it up but I couldn’t find the year they were introduced. I had only been aware of the wood ones until I saw that box… Although I don’t think I have ever actually looked. They could have been around since my kids were little or just introduced this year!
My kids LOVE them. I have kept them in the main room of the house, next to the fireplace and the Christmas tree. Just picture all the kids building with TinkerToy parts by the fire, as the Christmas lights twinkle in the background. It is sort of as Norman-Rockwell/classic-Americana as you can get.
And while all that is just lovely, I have noticed something that I am really enjoying. The children have been able to play with this set CREATIVELY. The set (200 pieces) comes with instructions on how to connect the pieces and actually shows pictures of some things that they can create but it does not lay out specific exacting directions. So at first, my kids did build the pictured sets but they had to do it by themselves. Trial and error using some spatial abilities and some common sense based on what they could see in the pictures.
Then they started to be creative. They made their own designs. They used their imaginations and the circles and sticks became dogs, and stars, and swords, and guns (of course). They built things and then added more or decided to change it around altogether and with no directions and no one telling them how to do it. They could do it just the way they wanted to! The only problem with the set was that I didn’t have more of them. 🙂
Just to be clear on the creativity – and the funny sense of humor of my kiddos. The plastic pieces are somewhat bendable so I asked them if they could make a bow and arrow. This is what I got: a “bow” and an arrow.
My six year old was building with me tonight. He looked at me and told me “I am having fun because it is fun to build fun things with these fun toys.” I think when a 6 year old uses the word fun 4 times in one sentence – well, I am not sure there is a better endorsement!
What toys did you play with that your children enjoy as well?
22 thoughts on “Tinkering with Creativity”
I remember Tinker Toys from when I was a child. They were wood then. I love the look of these new plastic ones, very colorful!
When I was little, they were all wooden. When my kids were little, they were part wood and part plastic. I haven’t seen this version yet. Very neat. Love how colorful it is.
Tinker Toys were among my favourites when I was a kid in the 70s. We managed to find a small wooden set for our little guy a few years ago. Endless opportunities for creativity!
I think we are all played with Tickertoys. These are awesome for kids and adults can have fun playing or building with the kids. Thanks for sharing.
These are my favorite types of toys. They do so much more than occupy a child. They really get those noggins working.
That is pretty cool. I like how it can be used by kids of different ages – great toy!
My daughter has this set and she loves it. She loves all K’NEX products. But Tinkertoy is her favorite.
my son had a set of these growing up and he loved them
My girls love Tinker Toys so much! I have a love hate relationship with them since I find them all over my home.
Looks like they had so much fun!!
You know a toy is good when it’s been around as long as TinkerToys. They look like so much fun.
My 6 yr old LOVES these! He plays with them at school and creates the most interesting things 🙂
Oh how fun! Maybe when my baby is older she will like these
The toys are adorable, and the kids make it even more cute! Great post 🙂
I remember Tinkertoys being loads of fun when I was younger. I actually forgot they existed until now, but I bet my kids would love them!
Oh wow! I can’t believe I forgot about tinker toys! My daughter would LOVE to play with these! So fun!
Oh, the bow and arrow story actually made me LOL! 🙂 These look fun and would go great with Lincoln Logs!
Wow those have been around for a long time. I remember that they were wood although I don’t think we ever owned any but I think I played sometimes at friends houses. I love how creative the kids were!
Great share! Very creative review on tinkertoys 🙂
I remember playing with wooden tinker toys at my great gramma’s home that had belonged to my dad and his brother and sister as kids.
How cool that memory is.
My kids will enjoy this!
We just bought two boxes of tinker toys and the kids LOVE it. Thanks for the review.