Tinkerfest Explores the Brain with Hands-On Sensory Activities

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Sept. 7 Family-Friendly Event Features Calming Sensory Station 

Tinkerfest 2019 visitors can make their own sensory gel pad, explore optical illusions, and make their own fun stress balls.

Tinkerfest 2019 visitors can make their own sensory gel pad, explore optical illusions, and make their own fun stress balls.

The Arts & Science Center invites the public to its annual family-friendly event Tinkerfest from 1-3 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 7. 

This year’s Tinkerfest is full of engaging hands-on, sensory-exploring activities. The event will also feature a “Sensory Station,” designed to be a soothing, welcoming space for those who can experience sensory overload during public events. 

The event is free and open to everyone. 

“We aim to bring awareness about sensory-related issues and to provide an inclusive environment,” said ASC Public Programs Coordinator Shakeelah Rahmaan. “Visitors will have a variety of low-stimulating activities that explore the brain and help to shed light on the autistic spectrum. Tinkerfest fun will include a variety of make-n-takes and an optical illusion area full of images intended to mislead the mind and amaze the senses.”

The hands-on activity stations will include: 

  • Sensory Gel Pad Craft. Visitors will explore how oil and water while making their own relaxing gel pad.

  • Stress Balls. Visitors can make their own fun, personalized squishy stress balls. The balls can help calm children with autism or sensory-processing disorders, and are all-around fun for anyone.

  • Optical illusions. Visitors can use color, light and patterns to create deceptive and misleading images.

The Sensory Station, provided by The Discovery Network and the Museum of Discovery in Little Rock through a grant from the Blue & You Foundation, offers simple modifications to help create an accepting and inclusive environment for everyone. For some individuals, going to events can be overwhelming due to sensory overload. Visitors will find noise-cancelling headphones, fidget toys, low lighting and other low-stimulation activities. 

Tinkerfest 2019 is sponsored by The Pine Bluff Area Community Foundation, an affiliate office of the Arkansas Community Foundation, Inc., The Discovery Network, and the Arkansas Blue Cross and Blue Shield’s Blue & You Foundation

For more information about Tinkerfest, contact ASC Public Programs Coordinator Shakeelah Rahmaan at 870-536-3375 or email srahmaan@asc701.org.