Recently, the external speakers on our computer finally died.
They had served their purpose well but not they were about to take on a valuable new role that their designers and makers probably hadn't envisioned.
They were about to be given to boys with screw drivers and wire cutters as we had a new use for old computer equipment.
An old piece of equipment is perfect for boys who love to pull things apart and find out what is inside objects.
The boys especially enjoyed this because they were able to use wire cutters - a tool they hadn't had an opportunity to try before.
Children really enjoy using real tools. Yes, there is always the potential for danger due to the nature of the tools (they're not make of plastic and designed for children to use). However, life is full of risk!
It's absolutely necessary to supervise children while teaching them how to use tools properly and with care.
I loved the problem solving that went on during this activity. When you need an extra pair of hands, but don't have any, then you can use your feet! Great thinking guys!
We soon discovered a magnet inside each speaker. Daddy then showed the boys how to magnetise a normal screwdriver by repeatedly rubbing the screwdriver, in the same direction, on the magnet.
They were eager to try this process on their own.
Now that the screwdrivers were magnetic, the boys set to work on picking up screws and ...
.. stacking them on the magnet.
Pulling apart old equipment is a valuable learning experience as children engage in:
- fine motor skills - strengthening muscles in fingers, hands and wrists as they manipulate tools and small parts (e.g., screws)
- cognitive skills - as they question what will I find? How does it fit together? How can I pull it apart?
- problem-solving skills - as they encounter difficulties and try to find solutions (e.g., why won't this part come off? How can I hold this still while I work on it?)
- the joy of discovery - finding out something they've not seen or experienced before
- independence - initiating and doing something on their own
Once the job was finished, the eager beavers, armed with screw drivers, would have taken on another project if there was one available.
However, everything else is currently working ... well ... except for the washing machine which is making the most horrific noises (probably due to being overworked). However, it is repairable ... sorry about that boys!
You'll have to wait for something else (electronic or mechanical) to break down.
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