Tinkering Camp - DuPage Children's Museum

Tinkering Camp

Building Creative Problem-Solvers

Children are capable of so much!


Over the course of one week (or three!),
Tinkering Camp provides an immersive opportunity to build with real tools to solve real problems. Budding engineers will find joy in the challenges, knowledge in the failures, and the confidence and ability to keep trying.

Tinkering promotes creative problem solving, flexible thinking, a failure-positive mindset, and to top it off. . . it is incredibly fun! Working with other like-minded children and adult collaborators, Campers will have a chance to bring their imaginations to life.

Each week’s challenge offers multiple entry points for the youngest to most advanced problem-solvers — making sure Tinkerers stay curious and dedicated to the project as it unfolds throughout the week. The process is more important than the end result; imagination and ingenuity will guide the outcome each week.

 

Camp Groups: Ages 4 – 6 | Ages 7 – 10

Junior Collaborators: Ages 11 – 15

 

Week 1: Monday, July 6 – Friday, July 10

Week 2: Monday, July 13 – Friday, July 17

Week 3: Monday, July 20 – Friday, July 24

 

Day Camp: 9 am – 3 pm | Member: $275/wk | Non-member: $295/wk 

Before Care: 8 – 9 am | Member: $50/wk | Non-member: $65/wk

After Care: 3 – 5:30 pm | Member: $80/wk | Non-member $100/wk 

 

Location: Washington Jr. High School
(next door to the Museum)
201 N. Washington St. | Naperville, IL 60540

Join Us for One Week or Three!

Available Tinkering Camps:

Week 1

Launchpad


Monday, July 6 – Friday, July 10

Launch means many things: get going, start, begin, embark on, initiate, originate, create, pioneer, mastermind, commence… Tinkerers will build unbelievable gadgets and gizmos that will reach new heights of creativity.

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Register for Week 1 Before Care

Register for Week 1 After Care

 

 

Week 2

Crazy Contraption


Monday, July 13 – Friday, July 17

Have you ever heard of a Rube Goldberg machine? (Google it!) What better way to learn about cause and effect while exploring the necessary interconnectedness of all the pieces and parts that make machines work. Tinkerers assemble! (And also disassemble!)

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Register for Week 2 Before Care

Register for Week 2 After Care

 

 

Week 3

Let it Roll – Make it Fly


Monday, July 20 – Friday, July 24

This week will move Tinkerers to drive or pilot machines that propel their prototyping powers to the outer limits!

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Register for Week 3 Before Care

Register for Week 3 After Care

 

 

Attending all three weeks of Tinkering Camp will provide the ultimate opportunity for young engineers, designers, and inventors to expand their creative problem-solving skill set. Children will build self-confidence through a platform of innovative collaboration with peers, extended practice of safe tool usage, and perseverance through failure.

Tinkering Camp Curriculum

Think. Tinker. Make. Repeat.

When children arrive at Tinkering Camp, they are met with real tools, real materials, and adult collaborators who are ready to help them grow, learn, and build. The curriculum is born out of children’s perceptions of what those materials can become. Each week, an overarching challenge helps to propel the Campers in the same direction. After a morning of tool training, the project is revealed and oftentimes building and testing will begin right away. Other times, Tinkerers will need to dwell in the design phase, exploring concepts and ideas on paper before diving into the work.

 

Tinkering is the playful precursor to the more serious activity of engineering. Tinkering starts with very simple questions like: “What can I do with this?” or “How does this work?” and often leads to making something. When children tinker, they are learning about the properties of materials, the capabilities of tools, and the way to identify unique solutions to problems.

SAFETY

Each camp session will begin with in-depth tool safety training. Proper tool handling will be monitored and reenforced throughout the camp session. Keeping children safe while using real tools involves letting them take and manage risks. Using real tools is very empowering to young children and promotes a sense of independence because it communicates that they are trusted.

Tinkerers Assemble!

Classroom Breakdown

Camp Groups

Ages 4 – 6 years | Ages 7 – 10 years

12 – 18 children per classroom

Adult:Child Ratios

1:6 During Camp Day

1:10 During Before/After Care

 

Junior Collaborators

Ages 11 – 15

Junior Collaborators will float between the classrooms, working with both students and the Tinkering Camp Teachers to facilitate the ongoing projects. Junior Collaborators will have an opportunity to build their own leadership skills in a completely unique educational setting. 

Tinker the Day Away

Schedule

Each Week

MONDAY: Tool training, project challenge reveal, and planning

TUESDAY: Work day

WEDNESDAY: Local walking field trip

THURSDAY: Work day

FRIDAY: Project presentation and disassembly | Caregivers are invited to attend

 

Sample Daily Schedule

8 – 9 am: Beforecare supervised play

9 – 10 am: Daily introduction

10 am – Noon: Design, build, and prototype

Noon – 1 pm: Lunch

1 – 3 pm: Re-design, build, and prototype (some more!)

3 – 5:30 pm: Aftercare supervised play

 

Daily Milestones

 

  • Learning how to collaborate in small and large groups
  • Formulate ideas and communicate them effectively
  • Learning from and teaching other children
  • Trial and error, failure, and persistence leading to new knowledge
  • Building unique creations that only exist thanks to Tinkering Camp

Pricing

Day Camp | 9 am – 3 pm

Member: $275/wk | Non-member: $295/wk 


Before Care
| 8 – 9 am

Member: $50/wk | Non-member: $65/wk


After Care
| 3 – 5:30 pm

Member: $80/wk | Non-member $100/wk 

 

Pricing is per child/per week

 

Cancellation Policy:

  • No portion of the enrollment fee will be refunded to participants as of the morning of the day their camp begins.
  • Participants withdrawing one week prior to the beginning of camp will be charged a 50% administrative fee.
  • Participants withdrawing prior to the week before camps begin will be charged a 25% administrative fee.

 

Join us for one week or three!

Week 1: Launchpad

Monday, July 6 – Friday, July 10

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Register for Week 1 Before Care

Register for Week 1 After Care

 

Week 2: Crazy Contraptions

Monday, July 13 – Friday, July 17

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Register for Week 2 Before Care

Register for Week 2 After Care

 

Week 3: Let it Roll – Make it Fly

Monday, July 20 – Friday, July 24

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Register for Week 3 Before Care

Register for Week 3 After Care