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!

The Royal Treatment

No royalty is complete without their own castle. Little creators can make cool structures by upcycling shoe boxes, toilet paper rolls, corks, popsicle sticks and string from the recycle bin. Follow the creative flow inspired by mom artist Bar Rucci. You can find easy instructions over at Art Bar.

photo: Bar Rucci via Art Bar

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