Tinker Crate by Kiwi Crate is “A Laboratory for Hands-On Experiments Delivered Every Month” and available as a monthly subscription box. The kits are designed for children ages 9-14+. Inside the crate are the components to “explore science, engineering, and technology” and to “inspire young makers with a gift of learning and discovery.” Since STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) is being taught in many schools across the country, this is a great way to get young minds interested and having fun while they learn and create.
Today, we’re featuring the “trebuchet” kit which is a type of catapult to build and launch a ball. And, we have a very excited nine-year-old boy ready to create. The Tinker Crate kit arrived in a sturdy cardboard box made to look like a crate with the Tinker Crate logo.
After opening it, we find Tinkerzine, a magazine packed with ideas and other crafts; the instruction sheet which has all the steps on one side, tips and pieces listed on the other; and all the parts and components needed to create the “trebuchet.” The pieces are separated to easily find the parts needed for each step.
Tinker Crate Project – Building a Trebuchet
First, our builder spread out the parts in his workspace—I would suggest placing a mat or tablecloth over the work surface to prevent any potential damage to tabletops. The instructions are very clear, but there is a video tutorial available on the website for those who prefer them. Our builder didn’t ask for the video.
The trebuchet is built in three clearly marked sections of base, counterweight, lever arm and firing pin.
Though no time is listed, it was constructed by our young maker in less than one hour. No additional tools were needed, though he did use a pencil to help pop the holes in the pouch—holding it up to the light will facilitate finding the pre-punched holes. He asked for help making the knots for the pouch and attaching it to the lever arm and firing pin. The pieces are precut and slide into place easily at the notches.
You will need to supply the “weights” needed to make the counterweight work—Tinker Crate suggests stones, batteries or coins. We used batteries and marbles—don’t load past the top to prevent spillage when the trebuchet is operating. The trebuchet worked on the first try! The tips on the instruction sheet help with getting the adjustments needed if the ball goes straight up in the air or splat into the ground.
There are monthly, 3, 6, and 12-month subscription plans available, and longer plans starting at $12.95/month. The tester and mom found it to be a fun project and would be interested in future Tinker Crates. We found all the answers to: “Why Tinker Crate?” because it was “hands-on, educational, creative, and awesome!”
Want to give your child a monthly Tinker Crate? Use Tinker Crate coupon code FSB30 to save 30% off your first Tinker Crate!