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!

Rubber Band Races

Vroom vroom! Rev up those engines and let the littles make toy cars out of baskets, egg cartons, old CD disks, pencils, rubber bands, or whatever their mind can envision. See how the little designers at All for the Boys put their cars together here.

photo: Allison via All for the Boys

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