Tinkercad is a free and safe website where your children can make things in 3D, play with virtual electronics, and create designs using blocks of code.
Getting your children up and running and making things in 3D is quick and simple, and can be accomplished in a matter of minutes.
Create an Account
First things first, you will need to register your child for an account by clicking this link.
Since you are signing up for an account at home, you will want to select "Create a personal account." You can then select whether you want to sign up with your Email address, Google, Microsoft or Facebook account. Pick whichever is easiest and most comfortable for you.
You will then be asked to insert your child's age, enter it and click next.
If your child is 13 or over you can enter their personal email address and a login password. Their account is now created and you can skip ahead to the Getting Around section of this tutorial.
If your child is under 13, you will next be asked to create a user name for you child, a password that you both can remember, and your own email address. Your child will not need to provide their own email address. When you click "Create account," you will be receive a verification to your email inbox asking you to grant permission for your child to use Tinkercad.
Read through the email to learn about what it means to give your consent, and then click the big button which says "Continue to Tinkercad." This button will bring you to the Tinkercad website where it will prompt you to sign in to your personal account, or to create yourself a new account if you don't already have one.
Once signed in, you will find yourself at a parental "Permission Slip" page. There are two ways to provide permission. The first is to make a nominal 1-time fee of $0.50 to confirm that you are and adult who has a credit card and get instantly confirmed. The second way is to fill out a permission slip form and wait 3-5 days for it to get reviewed and processed by a human.
For the sake of this quick-start guide, we are going to assume you chose the instant Paypal option. Once you have made the payment, you will be redirected to a confirmation page. To complete the process, click the button which says "My Kids."
You will now find yourself at a dashboard that will let you moderate your child's online activity. This will give you full control over your kids account and content. Reviewing all the features of this dashboard is outside the scope of this tutorial, but feel free to explore it on your own.
Your child can now log in using their own username and password and use Tinkercad to their heart's content.
Once your child is logged-in to their account they’ll be presented with their design collection page. It may be empty for the moment, but it will quickly fill up with their own creations. Designs copied from the public gallery will also be saved here, which they can modify and make their own.
There’s no harm in taking some time to explore the different links and options available on this page. You can always return to your design collection dashboard by clicking the Tinkercad logo in the top left corner.
Learn the Moves
We have a series of 7 guided Starter Lessons to help beginners of any age grasp Tinkercad’s basic concepts and controls. Each tutorial leads into the next and it should take around 10 minutes to complete the series. We highly recommend that your child complete these before starting their first design.
It’s not uncommon for kids to want to skip ahead so that they can get straight into designing their big idea. But without the fundamentals in place, kids are more likely to become frustrated and give up. If your child needs to take a break from Starters, they can come back to them or restart them at any time by visiting Tinkercad.com/Learn.
Kids can create designs in Tinkercad in a number ways. There’s nothing wrong with creating a new design from scratch, exploring the shapes collection, combining things together, and seeing where things take you.
Maybe your child already has a very specific idea about what they want to create -- a spaceship, a bracelet, a robot. If they’re already off and running at this point, let them go for it.
If they could still use a little direction, we have a series of short, guided design lessons that they can choose from, including Minecraft party glasses, a luggage tag, a diamond ring, and more.
When your child is feeling more ambitious, they can try our guided series of projects. These include a wide assortment of more intricate designs, such as creating your own house, a space station, a fancy necklace, or even a superhero costume.
More to Come!
In the future we will cover other facets of the Tinkercad experience, including exporting to Minecraft, designing with plastic brick toys, visually coding with Codeblocks, and virtually learning Arduino and LEDs using Tinkercad Circuits.
In the meantime, please see our recent post titled Hello Tinkercad Friends! Let’s #TinkerTogether. It provides more information on some of Tinkercad’s useful features for parents, teachers, and students.