There is nothing better than taking something to pieces, opening it up and checking out what’s inside. I’m not sure why it’s so fun but I enjoy ‘wrecking apart’ things as much as my big kids do!
There’s not much to it, just find an old computer or stereo or piece of old, broken, no longer working, can’t be re-used, bit of technology, grab a bunch of screw drivers in various sizes and some pliers and wire cutters and you are ready to go!
Yesterday afternoon, with the big kids too sick to go to school and preschool, but not too sick to be BORED, I put the baby to bed, got out our old PC and let the kids do the rest.
As they ‘wrecked apart’ the old computer they used and refined their fine motor skills as they un-did screws in tricky places. They worked together to problem solve and figure out how to get tricky bits apart.
They learnt new language as they discovered strange and wonderful things inside the computer.
They counted, classified and sorted screws and wires. They explored with the magnets they found.
They had a lovely time, and so did I!
Have you ever ‘wrecked apart’ something with your kids?
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I used to watch my brother do this for hours on end. He was transfixed and I would pretend that I was his helper. I of course wasn’t actually allowed to help at all, but pretending was just as fun!
Not done it but looks like fun.
Janice @ learning4kids.net says
Looks like so much fun!
Hope the kiddies get well soon! :)
Fantastic fun learning activity – they don’t even know they are learning! Do you have some things to make with the parts like robots? Would love to see what the kids come up with!
Super Sarah says
What a brilliant idea, this had seriously NOT occured to me! I am definitely going to scrounge up some old electronics and get to it with my girls, what fun!
Jo @ countrylifeexperiment says
This looks like great fun. I have an old laptop which doesn’t work sitting in a cupboard. Looks like I have a rainy day activity all planned out!
Karen Larson says
Our son was really disappointed when the electric typewriter he bought at a yard sale didn’t work but both boys and husband had so much fun taking it apart.
We have used parts for school art and science projects and to make jewelry at one of our craft nights.
cathy at nurturestore says
My girls are always making but I think they would just love to take apart too. Hmmm, I’m wondering what I could give them? Thanks for the great idea.
Lego City says
Wow this brought back memories for me.
I used to ride my bike to the local “unofficial tip” a spare block of land where people used to dump all their old TVs, radios and washing machines (basically the stuff they had to pay in order to dump at an official council dump). Then I would balance a TV back home on my bike and proceed to take it apart in my room, much to my parent’s horror: “You got it where?!”.
Would love to do this with my kids so thanks for the inspiration.
What a great idea Kate – as always!!
Jodi Gibson @ The Scribble Den says
What a fantastic idea! Will definitely keep in mind for those boring old rainy days. Thanks.
Penny Whitehouse says
I know what we’ll be doing when our computer dies. Darn computer is going to pay for freezing on me all the time. I’ll let the kids loose on it! *evil cackle*
Missy Boo says
That looks like so much fun! I wanna join in :)
My computers almost had it – I think we might do this when I update.
Great,great,great idea! Every kid shoul try this! I’m going to find something to wreck apart!!!
What a fantastic idea! My biggest boy would love this (me too). Great idea for school holiday fun, and reuse of technology that would otherwise go to the tip. Might as well have a tinker with it before it gets recycled.
Jamie @ hands on : as we grow says
This is still on my list! Looks like your kids thoroughly enjoyed it!
Katey (Having Fun at Home) says
Loved doing this when I was little. We made quite a collection of fun odds and ends this way. I think my brother actually made something workable out of them once.
That looks like so much fun :)
Deb Fanning says
I spent two years as the science teacher at an elementary school. In my science lab, I would have students take a part old telephones, old cameras, old radios, old tape recorders……. basically anything I could get my hands on that was about to be rendered to the trash. I would bring in odd items from the house that I was pretty sure my students had not seen before. i.e. Tupperware citrus peeler. I would have them draw their item, describe it in words, and then guess what the purpose of the items was. They had a blast while honing their observation skills and critical thinking!
Please rethink this activity. Computer parts contain heavy toxic metals, including lead, cadmium and mercury.
My advice has been that as long as we are not breaking open the parts of the computer and simply unscrewing it, we are not in contact with anything dangerous.
If you feel it is a problem you could always use some other old appliance. We’ve done this with an old wind up analogue clock which was fascinating!