Sunday, November 05, 2006


One of the rainy day activities we keep in reserve is a box of defunct small appliances and electronics that are fun and interesting for the kids to take apart. Sam was looking for something to do this gray day, so I pulled out an old keyboard for him to open and investigate. The girls soon joined in pulling apart an old coffee grinder—as you can see, this meant taking time out from the game they'd been playing.

This quickly led to the dismantling of all kinds of old toys, some that no longer worked, others that still worked but seemed more interesting as projects than toys. Sam chose to take apart one of his old Buzz Lightyear toys, a rocket that made quite a lot of noise. He hadn't played with the toy for a long time, but it offered a whole new level of interest once we could see inside!

Sam had the spaceship apart in no time, and play rapidly turned to cutting the electronics wires in a kind of Mission Impossible style game. Once Jim got home from work, Sam showed him lots of the wires he'd cut and told his dad that the toy had been working when he took it apart. Jim showed Sam how to strip the wires and splice them back together, and the two of them were able to play with the different buttons and see the electrical connections that made the different noises possible. Very cool!

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