PNC Tinkering for Tots

Pre-School Program

Henry Ford Museum of American Innovation

Special Event at Henry Ford Museum of American Innovation™

  • Second Monday of each Month (November - April)
  • Time: 10am - noon

Free with Museum admission.

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November 12: Wood, Metal and Fabric

November continues the Engineering 101 materials themes by taking exploring what awesome innovations are made when you combine wood, metal, and fabric.

Hands-on Activities

Compare, contrast and combine - Museum Plaza
Review the previously explored basics of wood, metal, and fabric and discover what can be made when combined.

Crafting - Museum Plaza
Create a cleaver craft with wood, metal, and fabric.

Exploring what can be made when we combine many materials - Heroes of the Sky - 1903 Wright Flyer, Barnstormer Area’s 1917 Curtiss JN-4 Canuck, 1925 Fokker “Josephine Ford” and Henry Ford’s Quadricycle in Driving America
Compare how metal, wood, and fabric are used in the construction of the Wright Flyer, in these innovative machines. Are these materials used for the fuselage (body of the plane), the wings, or the mechanical parts?

Inspiring stories - Museum Plaza under the DC-3 Airplane,
Join our storyteller, who will read stories to inspire your tinkering tot. Featured stories include Amazing airplanes by Tom Mitton, and The Inventor’s Secret: What Thomas Edison told Henry Ford by Suzanne Slade.

Artifact of the Day - Next to the Lionel Train layout
Ross Chariot – built by William Ross of New York City in 1797. The use of metal, wood, and fabric was slightly different from how those materials were used in the construction of three airplane you see today. Visit this beautifully decorative horse-drawn vehicle and note the metal decorative trim, the wood and metal wheels, and the beautiful fabric upholstery.

December 10: Combine Different Materials

December's Engineering 101 materials themes continue by taking exploring what awesome innovations are made when you combine different materials.

Hands-on Activities

Compare, contrast and combine - Museum Plaza
Review the previously explored basics of wood, metal, plastic, glass, rubber, fabric and natural fibers and discover what can be made when combined different combinations of these materials.

Crafting - Museum Plaza
Build and play with a combination of materials.

Exploring what can be made when we combine many materials - Fully Furnished - Eames Rocker, Made in America – Making Power – Glass Ribbon, Your Place in Time – Overland automobile
Explore the materials used to make a modern rocking chair, a machine that makes light bulb, and the Overland automobile and collect a sticker at each stop.

Inspiring stories - Museum Plaza under the DC-3 Airplane
Join our storyteller, who will read stories to inspire your tinkering tot. Featured stories include Michael’s Racing Machines by Lawrence F. Lowery, and What Do You Do With a Problem by Kobi Yamada.

Artifact of the Day

Weinermobile – built in 1952 as a way to advertise Oscar Meyer’s hotdogs, this cool vehicle is made of plastic, metal, rubber, glass. Check out how these materials go into making a giant hot dog and make a rubbing souvenir as well.

January 14: Metal

As part of our Engineering 101 theme we will explore the material of metal, its uses and what makes it so useful

Hands-on Activities

Let’s Learn About Metals
There are many kinds of metals that are found deep in the ground around us. Nails, cans, and pots & pans are just a few items made of metal that we use every day. It can be used in many ways, for work and for play. We’ll investigate how we use metals and work with metal to create some fun of our own.

How hard is metal? - Allegheny train, Made in America – Build a Model T, and the Dymaxion House
Visit these objects to explore how they work with different kinds of metal and why that is important when making things.

Metal – Where is it Found, What is it Used for, and Why Does Metal Attract Magnets? - Museum Plaza
Explore where metal comes from, what you can make with it and why magnets only stick to certain metals?

What can you make with metal? - Museum Plaza Punch and etch your own metal work of art.

Inspiring Stories - Museum Plaza - Under the DC 3
Join our storyteller, who will read stories to inspire your tinkering tot. Stories include What Makes a Magnet? Franklyn M. Branley and What Do You Do With a Idea? by Kodi Yamada

Artifact of the Day

1928 Ford Trimotor, the Floyd Bennett Heroes of the Sky exhibit’s Entrepreneur area.
Ford built this all-metal airplane with corrugated metal, which gave it more strength than plain sheet metal. Feel the sample of this metal in the display panel. Other aircraft had been constructed of wood, fabric, and metal so this plane was innovative in its design.

Ticket Prices

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

Henry Ford Museum of American Innovation

    Member Non­member
Senior (62+) Free $21.00
General Admission (12-61) Free $23.00
Youth (5-11) Free $17.25
Children (4 & Under) Free Free

* Ticket prices are subject to change.