Play Kits Spark Joy for Kids in Community

Hand kids a box of colorful materials and loose parts. Hold off on providing any directions or suggestions about what to create. Give them time to tinker.

What do you get? Lots of fun, creativity and problem solving.

We love seeing kids dive into open-ended activities like this. That’s why we’re creating and sharing free play kits with family-focused organizations in the Twin Cities.

Since fall 2021, museum staff and volunteers have packed up and distributed almost 400 kits. The response so far has been overwhelmingly positive.

Barbara Luxford at Maple Grove Preschool and Childcare recently shared the kits with her classes. They loved them so much that she just had to share her feedback with us.

Here’s what she said:

“These tinker kits are AMAZING! They have inspired so much more creativity in this group of children than we imagined. These kits really are about encouraging children to think outside of the box and supporting them by focusing on the process rather than the outcome.

As a teacher, I realized that the real work is in allowing a child to just sit with the materials around them and help them come up with some creative ideas. Or, better yet, ask open ended questions that allow them to begin using the materials in new ways and put things together until they slowly begin creating.

We spent the entire week creating so many things together: A long and intricate ball track, a family of popsicle stick people, a robot, a water bottle, a home with furniture, a ball game, a village of alien creatures and so much more.

Thank you from the bottom of our hearts for creating such gorgeous creative experiences with these Tinker Kits. All of the materials and care that went into creating the kits was noticed. Minnesota Children’s Museum is such an amazing place. All of you who have created these kits and continue touching children’s lives are AMAZING!”

Thank you to the state Arts & Cultural Heritage Fund for providing the grant funds that have allowed us to create the Tinker Kits.


Update: Museum No Longer Accepting Requests for Play Kits

Please note that the museum is not currently accepting requests for play kits from community organizations or providing kits to individual families.

Discounted Museum Admission for Lower-Income Families

All families are welcome to experience the joy and learning that happens at Minnesota Children’s Museum. Any family receiving benefits through EBT, WIC or free/reduced school lunch programs is eligible for discounted tickets or membership through the museum’s All Play program. | Learn More

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