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Kids dream big. So when you tell them they can’t do something, their hearts sink.

These days, parents are quick to build invisible fences around their children. While learning to follow guidelines is an essential part of growing up, your little ones need a break from the constant nagging and long list of house rules.

In the same way that you need a break from the daily work and parenting grind, your kids can benefit from not being told what to do all the time. But instead of letting them loose on the streets (not recommended), send them to the Tinkering School.

The Tinkering School summer camp

Learning How to Capitalize on Risk and Failure

The Tinkering School is a San Francisco-based facility that holds special events and recreational programs for kids. Unlike traditional summer camps, where your little ones are subject to the same monotonous daily routine, the learning workshops are extremely fun, unique and very dangerous.

Children are encouraged to build things, use tools, interact with people, run around and climb trees. The core philosophies of the school provides enrollees with the “freedom to fail” as a medium for development. Kids are taught to scale up, which usually results in wild creations.

What Looks Destructive Is Not

In the process of learning through experience, there are no shortcuts. The intensive programs do not take anything out of the equation; including pain from getting hit on the hand with a hammer and realizing the importance of teamwork.

“We have what many parents have described as the single scariest document they’ve ever signed around their child. They actually have to print out. I understand that my child may be injured or killed at this camp,” said Gever Tulley, founder of the Tinkering School.

For peace of mind, the camper representative to student ratio is 6:1 or better. There are some rules that kids are required to follow in order to take part in the programs. Hurting other enrollees is strictly not allowed. They are also taught friendly dispute resolution techniques for sharing tools and other items.

CEO of Tinkering School

What Are the Summer Camp Programs like?

The Day Camp option is a five-day program where kids build things. Age brackets include 6-14 and 11-16. Each week is a new program with a different project (it is possible to sign up for more than one session). Enrollees stay in the facility from morning to mid-afternoon. Closed-toe shoes, ready-to-get-dirty clothes, and sunscreen are some prerequisites every student must be equipped with.

For the complete Tinkering School experience, overnight programs are also available. During the extended activity session, kids will be able to spend more time on various tasks, including brainstorming, delegating, testing and presentations. The day consists of building projects and the night is mostly spent on catching as much sleep as possible. In the middle of the week, kids can look forward to a beach outing, where they can enjoy nature.

Lastly, after school curriculums are designed for long-term projects that reach up to nine weeks. The daily sessions are filled with interesting discussions and building application exercises.

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