The Chicago Children’s Museum at Navy Pier just opened their brand new Tinkering Lab, a Do-It-Yourself workplace for families, which allows visitors to create something tangible with old-fashioned tools. The workshop is a primarily “no technology” zone, which can be quite the experience for older children (and their parents too, if we’re being honest) who rely on their tablets and smartphones for everything. With a little sweat and a lot of brainpower, the Tinkering Lab proves that anybody can learn how to build something with tools as simple as a hammer and a couple of nails.
Start your Tinkering Lab experience off with the Pegboard Challenge. Learn all about cause-and-effect when you add, remove, and switch around the different gears, balls, chutes, and other loose parts on the pegboard.
Next, check out the Tool Bar with its wide selection of saws, hammers, power drills, screwdrivers, and more, and get building at your workshop station! Don’t worry; children will not be using these tools unsupervised! Chicago Children’s Museum has hired a professionally trained staff to assist and oversee each child as they set to create their masterpiece.
There’s even a special spot for the little ones who aren’t quite ready to handle the task of a trip to the Tool Bar. Meet the Early Training Nook! While Dad and the older kids hit up the Tinkering Lab workshop, Mom and the youngest kids can head to the Nook, a safe and protected space with all sorts of interactive activities for babies and toddlers.
Make a whole day of it at the Pier! Spend the morning at the Tinkering Lab, and then grab lunch at Bubba Gump’s! This family-friendly restaurant offers one special kid’s menu, which we bet will make even Mom and Dad jealous!