On Monday, our youngest builders enjoyed one of our favorite "sandbox" experiences. A table filled with DC motors, batteries, wire, corks, markers, tape is presented, plus a few novel items to keep the experience fresh for collaborators. Kids are given the absolute minimum of instruction, just encouragement to pick up the materials, explore them fearlessly, and copy and share ideas liberally.
After a brief moment of befuddlement -- "Aren't the adults supposed to tell us what to do?" -- kids were off to the races, building machines that walked, sputtered, drew, hummed and lots more that defied categorization.