Ready to let your little out-of-the-box thinkers get their hands on things they can not only play with, but tweak and twiddle? Go ahead, raid the recycle bin and upcycle materials into stuff that can double as tinker-worthy toys. From building cardboard rocket ships and castles to soda can cars and do-it-yourself geoboards, it’s easy to re-use stuff you’ve got around the house. Scroll down and let’s get to tinkering!

Blast Off Box

We’re over the moon about upcycling a really large box into a rocket ship. Budding astronauts will love suiting up to fly out into space and fiddling with the sweet side gadgets and gears. They’ll play for hours thanks to Kate’s Creative Space, the maker mom behind this cool ship. For the full tutorial blast over here.

photo: Kate’s Creative Space

Editor’s Note: We at Red Tricycle encourage learning. That being said, please be sure your kiddo has access to age-appropriate materials and always supervise playtime. Happy Tinkering!

What household items do you use to tinker? Tell us about it in the comments!

—Nikki Walsh