A recipe for building a Thinker: Take a tool-using young human. Give her tools—lots of them. Add basic materials and mix well, in an environment where it's OK to fail and to fool around.
Tinkering is the recipe for thinking. It may look as if children in the studio are just fooling around, but they're actually exploring the building blocks of physical science (gravity, resistance, aerodynamics, etc.)—and engineering solutions by using simple machines. Tinkering allows them to discover for themselves how to make something better.