Alex caught Lil heading towards an electrical outlet with a metal screw driver awhile ago. He shouted, she dropped the tool, and there was much talk about electrical shock risks.
But Lil’s mistake was an honest one. She didn’t intend to put the screwdriver in the outlet – she wanted to unscrew the cover plate. She wants to take apart everything these days.
Later over the weekend, Alex provided an outlet (ha!) for her inquiring mind. He pulled a non-functioning laptop from a pile of old electronics and helped her take it apart. They used screw drivers of all sizes to discover materials of all kinds.
Lil especially likes the hard drive. She plays it like a record player. How does she even know how a turntable works?
Taking apart a machine is undoubtedly fun. It is also an exceptional learning experience. Here are just some of the skills kids (and adults!) can practice while taking things apart:
- Using hand tools
- Reading labels
- Comparing numbers
- Sorting fasteners
- Analyzing shapes
- Using simple machines
- Examining materials
- Exploring how complex machines work
Not everyone (I hope) has a stack of non-functional laptops like we do. That’s ok. You can take apart a toy or trash-pick an appliance. Old lamps, furniture, and instruments are all exciting to disassemble. Sometimes, the multitude of pieces can be put back together.
Take something apart soon. It’s an inexpensive, easily accessible, shhh-don’t-tell-them-they’re-learning good time!
PS. Do I need to tell you that adult supervision is a good idea because some materials are hazardous? There, I feel better with that warning.