Friday, September 12, 2014

Tools for 2 year olds

Who: J3
When: early afternoon
Where: all over the house
What did we use: assorted play and real tools

Today, J3 was engaged in a serious construction project.  Putting together and taking apart this airplane:

Ours is fun, but the nuts and bolts don't levitate like this
One main step, left out of the manufacturers instructions, was to check whether there were any hidden bolts or screws in my head that could be loosened with the toy power drill. She kept mentioning various pieces that were coming out, but I hope we got them all back in.

Frankly, I love toys like this.  Obviously, there is a lot of counting along the way (do we have all the parts, do we have the right amount of each part), often there is matching (nuts and bolts, usually), and a lot of shapes to discuss and compare.  When we play together, I ask them to describe how things fit together, to encourage them to visualize the connections and to plan how they are going to sequence the construction.

Then, we moved on to the real tool box.

We did two main activities with the real tools. First, J3 found a small flashlight and explored the size of the lit spot she could make.  She had a lot of fun testing her theories about how to make it larger or smaller.  I tried asking if she thought the light would be smaller on her than on my because I'm bigger, but she'd already had enough experience shining it on large walls to realize that didn't matter.

Our second activity was an exploration of the wrenches (few) and screwdrivers (many) that we've collected.  She had near perfect results separating flat and Phillips heads:

That's quite a relief, given how prominently this task figures in so many standardized tests these days!
We arranged them by size, with some interesting discussion about the short 1/4 flat head:
Tool on the bottom: smaller because it is shorter or larger because it is fatter?

A question I posed that was lot on J3 (for now) and I'll try again with the older ones: if that screwdriver is 1/4 made in the USA, where was the other 3/4 made? Also, the longer one says "1/8 made in the USA." Why did they make different amounts of each tool in different places?

I'm afraid, but fully willing to admit, that this behavior shows that a I have a full-blown case of dad humor.

1 comment:

  1. I've been asked for more details on the air plane. The brand is Battat and they have other vehicles (we only have the airplane). Ours was a gift from the US.