Monday, March 14, 2011

Discovering by Dismantling

Kids are natural builders and inventors.  That's how rich their imaginations are.  And that's how they learn construction and possibilities.  But have you ever tried doing the reverse?

Give them an old, non-working toy and a couple of screwdrivers --and let the dismantling begin!

Aside from the utmost thrill of taking something apart, just like inventing and building, dismantling is a good 'construction and possibilities' learning tool.  Kids learn care and craftsmanship.  They learn how one piece attaches to another and another to create a cohesive whole.  They learn cause-and-effect.  How flicking one lever can will this doodad to open and bump this thingamajig so that it makes this gizmo make a sound. Why, they may even find out why the old toy isn't working anymore.

Their imaginations are put to work through the ultimate euphoria of discovery.... one revelation after another.

Of course, 45 popped screws later, this carnage is expected.
What --nobody said anything about putting all the pieces back together, right?  One lesson at a time, come on.

ps.  It goes without saying (but I will anyway), parental supervision during dismantling is required and thorough hand-washing immediately after.

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