PNC Tinkering for Tots

Pre-School Program

Henry Ford Museum of American Innovation

Special Event at Henry Ford Museum of American Innovation™

  • November 12, 2018 - April 8, 2019 (Second Monday of each Month)
  • Time: 10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.

Free with Museum admission.

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Tactile Learning. Encourage tiny hands to touch, twist and crinkle with age-appropriate activities created to build a foundation for lifelong, hands-on exploring and making. Compare, contrast and combine new materials each month in a screen-free environment where caregivers and tots collaborate on a pre-engineering journey that crosses curricula.

Hands-on Making. What does a brush sound like as it moves across paper? How does sand feel between fingers? Try out kid-scale crafts designed to support development of motor skills and creative thinking.

Exploring Artifacts. Take a kid’s-eye look at hidden gems in the museum and village to uncover surprising connections between materials and artifacts. Dig deeper with guidance from our experts and special guests to find the unexpected right before your eyes.

Inspiring Stories. Tame the wiggles and squirms with big ideas. How can we learn from others? How can we conquer a fear? Boost creative thinking and language development with stories chosen to inspire big dreams.

PNC Tinkering for Tots activities are based in material science using the frame of “compare, contrast and combine” with innovation learning through the habits of Model I, The Henry Ford’s framework.

Five core activities combine to achieve a number of national standards for preschool curriculum as defined by the National Center on Early Childhood Development, Teaching and Learning and Head Start Early Learning Outcomes Framework. 

Featured Events:

February 11: Exploring Paper

Discovering the Uses of Paper
Museum Plaza
There are so many uses for paper. Come explore paper’s history and it’s many uses. 

Crafting with PaperMuseum Plaza
February is a “sweet” month to craft with all kinds of paper. Create a Valentine to give to someone special. 

Exploring Objects Made with Paper  -
Paper has many used beyond writing material. Visit these exhibits to see other uses for this material.

Location: Time cards and clock near the Henry’s Assembly Line inside Made in America, cardboard food packaging in the 1930’s kitchen display near the Weinermobile.  

Inspiring Stories: Under the DC-3 Airplane
Join our storyteller, who will read stories to inspire your Tinkering Tot. Today’s featured stories include Kite Day by Will Hillenbrand and What Do You Do With A Chance? By Kobi Yamada.

Artifact of the Day:
Shirley Temple Paper Dolls and Dresses, 1937
During the 1930s, Shirley Temple captured the hearts of millions of moviegoers, providing a welcome respite from the harsh realities of the Great Depression. Saalfield Publishing Company, of Akron, Ohio, published ten different Shirley Temple paper doll sets between 1934 and 1942. The paper outfits in the book are copies of costumes Shirley Temple wore in her motion pictures. 

March 11: Exploring Fabric

The Basics of Fabric 
Museum Plaza
What is fabric made of? How is it made? What is it used for? Find the answers to these questions and more. 

Warp and Weft
Museum Plaza
Weave your way over to learn the secrets of fabric making. Then create a quilt square of your own design.

Exploring What is Made of Fabric
Clothing, bed sheets, and curtains are among our everyday uses for fabric but what about as a bed itself? How about fabric that helps us fly? Explore these two objects to learn about unusual uses of fabric.  

Location: Wright Flyer inside Heroes of the Sky exhibit and Washington’s camp bed inside the With Liberty and Justice For All exhibit. 

Inspiring StoriesUnder the DC-3 Airplane
Join our storyteller, who will read stories to inspire your Tinkering Tot. Today’s featured stories include The Weaver by Thacher Hurd and What Do you Do With a Problem by Kobi Yamada.

Artifact of the Day:
Textile Display CaseNext to Made in America
The Jacquard loom made creating very fancy designs easier and faster. Take a look at this display and the information kiosk next to it to learn more about these beautiful American-made fabrics.

Future Themes:

April 8: Exploring Plastics
May 13: Exploring Glass
June 10: Exploring Rocks and Minerals
July 8: Exploring Water and Steam
August 12: Exploring Natural Materials
September 9: Exploring Rubber
October 14: Exploring Metal and Wood
November 11: Exploring Plastics and Metal
December 9: Exploring Paper and Fabric

Ticket Prices

Parking is $6 per vehicle for nonmembers, free for members.

Henry Ford Museum of American Innovation

    Member Non­member
Senior (62+) Free $22.00
General Admission (12-61) Free $24.00
Youth (5-11) Free $18.00
Children (4 & Under) Free Free

* Ticket prices are subject to change.


November - January Program (PDF)