You asked for it! Here is the rundown on The Workspace for Children's outdoor, at-home tinkerspace.

Our tinkerspace is a designated space for messy play, sensory exploration, building, tinkering and pretending. 

This space is an outside studio is for my children and their friends to gather and create.  There is so much learning, negotiating, playing, confidence-building, language development, and tinkering happening back there all the time.  It gets the kids outside and keeps them there.  There are playdates, family times and quiet times that all happen in our outdoor space.  Best part? I can hose the whole thing down at the end of the day. The shaving cream, glitter, mud and sawdust washes down the cracks of our deck.  I always imagine that one day far into the future, another owner of our home will tear out the deck and find layers and layers of sparkle and sawdust.

Over the years, I've had so many questions about this space and it's always felt overwhelming to try to put it into a blog post.  But today, I will make my best attempt.  

The Logistics:  This space gets put together (by me) at the first signs of Spring and gets broken down and put away before our first major snowfall.  We have a short roof over-hang that covers our main materials shelf, but it can still get affected by weather.  The rest of the space is okay in wet weather.  I am vigilant about dumping out any standing water because of mosquitos and wear and tear.  The majority of furniture and shelving is thrifted.  It cost next to nothing and I'm not worried about it getting destroyed.  

The Materials:  Okay, this is a tricky one because the materials and loose-parts I add and take away really depend on the ages and interest of my children.  I've done my best to compile a list of links for you but please keep in mind that YOUR children should really spark you here.  Also, most of these things you can find at you local dollar store and you don't need to pay up on Amazon.  These links are for your convenience.

Our sensory tables were built by my father-in-law and my husband and the tables and shelves are thrifted. 


Paint Brush Set

Twine Ball

Bowls and Measuring Cups

Squeeze Bottle Set of 6

Water Dispenser

Liquid Watercolors


Clothes Pins

Wooden Mallet

River Rocks

Tinker Trays


Mortar and Pestle

Clear Spray Bottles set of 6

Shaving Cream

Tempera Cakes


Varied Sponges

Trays with raised sides

Set of Funnels

Hand Drill (Rotary)

Below you can see some recent photos of our space in action.  Head over to my Instagram to see more.


Here is the layout of our materials on the covered shelf:

Do you want to see this space in action? CLICK HERE for a link to the Instagram Live where I showed you the entire space in detail.  

Like any valuable learning environment, this one is constantly evolving and growing with the children.  It is like a living, breathing part of our house.  It needs to be tended to, cared for, and fed by the children and by me.  It takes some maintenance, and it is most certainly a labor of love.  This space has given us so much over the years and I'm sure it will continue as the years go on.  

Do you have questions?  Please comment here and I will do my very best to answer you.  

As always, thank you for following along with us.  This post contains some affiliate links.  Thank you for your support.  

Happy Tinkering!