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Lessons From a Lifetime of Fixing and Making

Creativity and resourcefulness come naturally to children. With this natural instinct, we can learn and create amazing things in the process.

That is exactly what inspired Gever Tulley to set up Tinkering School. Tinkering School is a summer camp where children are encouraged to view the things around them as tools to create instead of rubbish to be ignored. Kids are inspired to explore, create and develop their DIY projects using nothing but regular materials and their imagination. The format is simple, and the results are awesome. Check out this video to see how students at Tinkering School used the stuff they were given to build their own rollercoaster (wow).

From his time running Tinkering School, Gever developed ‘five dangerous things every school should do.’ They are: 

1) Let children be co-authors of their education. 

2) Trust children more. 

3) Have ‘yes’ as the default answer.

4) focus on habit and character instead of test scores. 

5) Agree that everything is interesting no matter what it is. Nothing is silly.

Cool right? 

The ‘five dangerous things’ got us thinking. Shouldn’t we all be encouraged to rethink our relationship with the stuff around us? After all, we’re never too old to join the fixer and maker movement. Just as the kids from Tinkering School learn valuable lessons by experimenting and creating, fixers also learn cool life skills that we can incorporate into our daily lives. Here are our ‘4 Awesome Things That Every Fixer Will Learn’.

Resourcefulness

Making a roller coaster from pieces of wood and scrap metal and a simple DIY toolkit, like the kids at Tinkering School, is definitely resourceful. But we don’t have to go that far. By using things around us to fix and make stuff, we are encouraged to solve problems.

One of our Sugru community members, Heidi, shared this masterpiece on Instagram. She got together with her little niece to transform an empty instant coffee container into a watering can, with some Sugru and LOTS of decorations.

Creativity

Gever Tulley (Tinkering School) said: ‘kids learn valuable lessons from ‘fooling around.’ ‘Being silly and having fun isn’t frivolous, it’s the way to exploration and experimentation, and this leads to creative brilliance. When you let your imagination run loose as you create, build and repair, only the limits of your imagination hold you back (as cheesy as it is true).’

‘When you can playfully recreate your own stuff, there's no limit to what you can make, anything is an opportunity for fun and play.’

Sugru community member, Jane, also shared this highly creative hack with us on Instagram. She used Sugru to add Lego toys to travel tins, just for the pure creative fun of it.

Independence | Collaboration

It might seem like a contradiction at first, but fixing highlights the way these two things work together. Making and mending stuff gives us the skills to be resourceful and independent. And the creativity of the community around us encourages collaboration

Communities like Tinkering School and the Sugru fixing community are cropping up everywhere, because people love to share how they create and fix with others.

Here’s some family collaboration in action Milly and her dad Matt making unicorn bookends with Family-Safe | Skin-Friendly Sugru.

Gratitude

Reimagining the things around us helps us to see the value in them. After all, it’s not old junk, it’s a blank canvas for us to be resourceful, and come up with something new. 

Jeannie, from Sugru’s Facebook community, saw the value in an old shell. With a helping hand from Sugru and plenty of imagination, she turned it into a beautiful and unique soap dish.

Stay in touch and share your ideas and lessons with us by using #MySugruFix on Instagram, or you can share it with us on Facebook and Twitter.