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Tinker Hydraulic Claw

Lower Age: 8+
Price: $24.95
Tinker Hydraulic Claw - Image2

The Tinker Hydraulic Claw, a toy made by Kiwi Crate, is a fun activity box for children 8 years and older. This toy is part of a subscription service where different subscription packages can be chosen (i.e. 1 month, 3 month, 6 month, etc.). Each Tinker Crate box comes with a STEM related activity. For this month’s box, a hydraulic claw machine was delivered. Materials included in the box are small adhesive rectangles, paper fasteners (brads), fastener pieces, hydraulic claw pieces, syringes, flexible tubes, and zip ties.

This toy works to explain the concept of hydraulics, while providing a fun building activity that promotes engineering thinking and design. A brief introduction on hydraulics and Pascal’s law is provided which then prompts the user to use their critical thinking skills to determine why the syringe behaves in a certain way. The guide then leads to a detailed procedure for how to build the hydraulic claw with water as the hydraulic fluid. Although this box only provides a procedure for the claw, users are encouraged to redesign the model to create a more complex hydraulic machine. There are limits as to how many design iterations can be created from one box, but the included components are sufficient for a number of experiments that demonstrate the power of fluid mechanics. This toy is great for introducing the foundations for engineering, developing knowledge of the science behind hydraulics, and introducing basic STEM concepts for elementary-age students.


Engineering thinking and design practices the gift encourages children to do or learn about: idea generation, plan a solution, prototype, test, make improvements, apply science knowledge        

Engineering text or context explicitly provided by the gift: problem to be solved

Additional practices and skills needed by engineers that were addressed by the gift: critical thinking, creative thinking, design, iterative design, logical thinking


Overall ratings:

  • Children’s Reviews
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  • Parent’s Reviews
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  • Engineering and STEM Experts Reviews
    • Rating: 5.0 out of 5.0
    • Feedback:
      • “I enjoyed using household items to create my own hydraulic system and I also learned where hydraulic systems are used. A reasonably priced item, I think this would be a great gift for kids as it'll be educational and entertaining!”