Take Things Apart
Explore the inner workings of old machines.
For Ages: 6 and up
What You Need
Tools and Materials
- Adjustable pliers
- Wire cutter or heavy-duty scissors
- Old VCR, clock radio, answering machine, computer, toaster or other devices
- Don’t take apart TVs, computer monitors, microwaves, air conditioners or things with glass
- Cut off electrical cords before kids get started
- Avoid using force to pry things apart
- Use safety glasses for added protection
What You Do
Step 1. Cut off electrical cords
Step 2. Start loosening screws
What Kids Learn
- Confidence – Willingness to try out “adult” tools
- Critical thinking – Making a plan, diagnosing problems and changing course if things don’t work out at first
- Coordination – Developing fine motor skills
How to Support the Play
- Let your child use the tools
- If your child gets stuck or struggles a bit, ask open-ended questions to get them going again (“How do you think this comes apart?” or “Where do you want to start?”)
- If needed, guide your child – but avoid taking over entirely
- Notice what your child is doing and comment about what you see
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