Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Our Experience and Review of Tinker Crate: Biomechanical Hand

Our second Tinker Crate arrived and Wheel was there just in time to greet the postal carrier. This month we received the Biomechanical Hand. When the kids saw the box, they were too excited to get started. 


Let me give you some details, if you've never heard of Tinker Crates (We have a special referral link to Kiwi Crate, by clicking any of the Kiwi Crate company links below, you will be clicking that link. And right now, you'll received a $10 off bonus by using our links!!).

Tinker Crate is one of four types of crates that Kiwi Crate offers. Tinker Crates are science kits that are designed for ages 9-14+, but we use them as a family. They contain a Tinker Zine (version of a magazine that provides lots of information on the topic, directions for projects and resource lists for the topic of each kit which includes a video for how to construct or complete the project that is included), blue prints, and materials for projects. 

There is generally one large project and then other smaller projects or experiments included. Occasionally there is an extra that lets you use materials around your house to experiment.

The kits are available as a monthly subscription with options for purchasing one box at a time, 3 months, 6 months, and 12 months. They even have a shop where you can purchase boxes without a subscription.

Each Tinker Crate subscription comes in a bright orange box, so there's no hiding what has come in the mail.

The Biomechanical Hand Crate includes: Biomechanical Hand Tinker Zine, blue prints for constructing the biomechanical hand, materials for making your hand, and materials for the additional projects.


We decided to split the projects up over the course of several days. In this way, the kids could fit some of the fun into their school day and then have more to look forward to later. Ceesa started by reading the information from the Learn sections from the Tinker Zine. 



They practice a couple of different exercises with their hands.

They felt for the different bones and joints.

We found an opportunity to bring out an x-ray that was given to us from a lab tech we know.

Then on to the first project.

By cutting slots into straws and stringing paper through them, the kids were able to create bendable joints for a snail and octopus and give a bee a direct route to a flower.


Baby Wheel enjoyed moving the eyes on the snail.



Li's favorite project was the octopus. He is so into all things living in the water right now and professes one day he will go into the ocean in a submarine and see giant squid.


After testing all of the places that two pencils tape together with their points side by side felt like one poke and two (we found a couple of other places besides the fingertips where they felt like two), it was on to the biomechanical hand. There were blueprints and...

an instructional movie to watch.

Ceesa and Jo-Jo worked on their own fingers and Ceesa helped Li work on his.

We've found that we have to be extra careful with the foam sticky pieces in the various projects. The thumb piece was handled too much and doesn't stick properly now that we've been playing with it for awhile. A few extra foam pieces thrown in would be good for us.


We managed to misplace one of the finger tips. Fortunately, we discovered it hidden away in the baby's seat. He was excited to investigate too.


Umm...I'm not sure exactly how this happened, but I think Li is tired of waiting for his turn!

After it was finally put together, the fun really started. We made our hand do sign language, scratch backs, and ...

play the piano.

Jo-Jo even decided to write about the mechanical hand for her Autumn exam,


Want to know what our other experiences have been with Kiwi Crate? Here are some of our links:
Tinker Crate: Paper Circuits
Doodle Crate: Sumi-E
Kiwi Crate: Wonders of Water

We've had so much fun with our crates that we bought a few from the shop for Christmas presents. Shh!

Wishing you homeschool blessings,


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