Gever Tully started a Tinkering School for kids, an exploratory curriculum designed to teach kids how to build the things they think of. By exploratory he means setting kids loose in a shop full of tools and materials (with supervision) and encouragement to “fool around”.
In his wonderful TED talk, Tully describes the “deep internal realization” kids have from the experience, which happen to be the same ones you get (at any age) from improvising, tinkering, messing around with materials, following ideas:
You can figure things out as you fool around.
Nothing turns out as planned – ever.
All projects go awry.
Success is in the doing (failures are to be celebrated and analyzed; problems become puzzles)…”
Life these days is so tightly scheduled and goal oriented, that tinkering is becoming a rare hobby, with a slightly derogatory meaning… a radical act…