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T(h)inker Lab Curriculum

The Developmental Benefits of Learning
through Play

The young child’s metaphorical, imaginative, synesthetic, and magical ways of approaching the world are, in many ways, a reflection of what is going on at the neurological level. The brain of a young child is structurally and functionally different from the brain of an older child. Children’s play represents the single best way in which the above developmental requirements can be met. Play is a dynamic, ever-changing process that is multisensory, interactive, creative, and imaginative. When children play, they have their whole brain stimulated, not just specific areas related to formal academic skills. Play serves as a mediator between what is possible and what is actual.

What is the Curious Minds, LLC T(h)inker Lab Curriculum?

Curious Minds, LLC T(h)inker Lab curriculum includes 13 research based STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Mathematics) activity stations that are student lead and self-guided. Our curriculum provides a platform for learning through play. Children play and develop skills while the activity allows for the educator to intentionally yet informally monitor learning taking place.

Each Curious Minds, LLC T(h)inker Lab station includes:

  • ✔ Vocabulary word(s) boldly displayed to assist in language
  • ✔ Development storybook(s) familiar to their home or classroom to assist the student in identifying science in literature
  • ✔ Extension activities to bring activity throughout other subject areas you teach
  • ✔ Engaging questions to foster class discussion or individual reflection
  • ✔ An opportunity to build, craft and create, encouraging the development of fine motor skills and logical thinking and problem solving
  • ✔ Curious Minds, LLC T(h)inker Labs bridge in to other areas of academic study such as mathematics, geography, social studies, the arts and languages, too
  • Bonus:

    Included with the purchase of our T(h)inker Labs curriculum is a 60 minute teacher workshop for your staff. We’ll complete one or two T(h)inker Lab activities, discuss adapting T(h)inker Lab activities to your specific classroom needs and have a Q and A session specific to your learning environment.

For questions please email

Pricing: $395

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T(h)inker Lab Activities

Curious Minds, LLC Thinker Lab setup

Curious Minds, LLC T(h)inker Labs are a playful way to engage your young learner in developing skills while having fun at school or home! They’re simple. You use everyday items that children are familiar with and you simply repurpose them for a creative science, engineering or art challenge.

They don’t take up much space. All you need is a table or an open space! We’ve provided the labs for you in our Curious Minds, LLC T(h)inker Labs complete with vocabulary words and definitions to display, a book list to accompany your science, engineering or art challenge, engaging questions to ask your young learner, extension activities through other subject areas, what to be looking for as they guide themselves through the learning-while-playing-process, and list of found objects to get you started.

Curious Minds, LLC T(h)inker Labs are designed to reflect the cognitive and developmental needs of the young child based upon research from Jean Piaget. Children develop a range of skill sets through Curious Minds, LLC T(h)inker Labs; logical, critical, fine motor, imaginary play, collaboration and extended vocabulary to name a few.

As always, Curious Minds, LLC T(h)inker Labs reflect the quality you’ve come to expect from our expert educators. Each lab activity is research based and developed by professional licensed educators with experience in early childhood education and development.

Single Lessons for Purchase:

Lab #14: Have a Seat

This activity utilizes engineering, creative thinking and critical thinking skills. Students will design and construct a chair that is able to hold a bottle of water. They will recognize that the foundation of the chair needs to be stable for balance. The seat must be constructed of strong material to hold the weight of the bottle.

Vocabulary words: Weight, Balance

Price: $9.95

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Lab #15: Get a Grip on It

This activity utilizes measurement and critical thinking skills. Students will design and build a simple machine the will lift a plastic spoon at least 3 inches into the air without the student directly touching the spoon.

Vocabulary word: Force

Price: $9.95

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T(h)inker Labs Testimonials

“I teach 3/4 year olds and they love exploring with the T(h)inker Labs. I offer it in the science area and this is usually the first activity they choose during choice time. There is a lot of fun learning happening even at a young age.”

—Carrie Packer, Orono Schools Early Learning

Our whole school has incorporated T(h)inker Labs into their classrooms on a rotating schedule. They have all shown so much excitement and curiosity in each of the labs that we have done so far. They have learned new vocabulary words that they are able to use in the right context long after the lesson is over. It has been so wonderful for their imaginations and other concepts such as cause and effect and problem solving skills. It is so amazing to watch what their little minds create!

I am so glad that we gave the T(h)inker Labs a chance. It truly has transformed the way the children learn in my classroom and has brought wonderful new studies, themes, and concepts to learn from with wonderful new book titles that I have never seen before. Thank you so much for this amazing curriculum geared toward the way children learn best, by TINKERING.”

—Carissa Stricklen, Orono Schools