This week’s flashback is one of my favorite pieces from the pages of MAKE, appearing in Volume 07 in August of 2006. It’s not so much a project as a call to action. Gever Tulley, founder of Tinkering School, strongly believes in the power of, well, tinkering, and its positive effects on the minds of children. From their site:

The Tinkering School offers an exploratory curriculum designed to help kids – ages 7 to 17 – learn how to build things. By providing a collaborative environment in which to explore basic and advanced building techniques and principles, we strive to create a school where we all learn by fooling around. All activities are hands-on, supervised, and at least partly improvisational.

Grand schemes, wild ideas, crazy notions, and intuitive leaps of imagination are, of course, encouraged and fertilized.

It’s no secret that our society at large encourages raising kids in an overly cautious manner out of fear that they might get hurt, which inevitably hinders their ability to explore, grow, and think outside the box. We at MAKE are all about “Permission to Play” and so we were thrilled to see the warning labels Tulley came up with to replace the traditional safety labels most often seen on children’s toys.


Awesome. What alternate labels would you propose?

For more, check out Tulley’s talk at TED titled “5 Dangerous Things You Should Let Your Child Do.”