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 innovation learning 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:

April 8: Exploring Plastics

Hands-on Activities:
  1. The How, What, and Where of PlasticsMuseum Plaza
    We’ll investigate how plastics were invented, what are they are made of, and where does old used plastic go.
  2. Plastic art - Museum Plaza
    Find a creative way to use recycled plastics that can be useful and beautiful.
  3. Exploring Objects Made with Plastics -1940-1959 Display Case inside Your Place in Time
    Explore the explosion of plastic goods that were created beginning in the 1940s and 1950s.
  4. Inspiring Stories - Under the DC-3 Airplane
    Join our storyteller, who will read stories to inspire your Tinkering Tot. Today’s featured stories include Michael Recycle Meets Litterbug Doug by Ellie Bethel and Miss Fox’s Class Goes Green by Eileen Spinelli.
Artifact of the Day this month:  
Playskol Holiday Inn Play Set –
In display case next to Holiday Inn neon sign
Created by Milton Bradley about 1975 this plastic play set represents the popularity of car travel by creating a safe and colorful toy set from child-friendly plastic.

Next Month Inside Greenfield Village: Join us on May 13 when we’ll explore glass.

Future Themes:

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)