Summer is a time for fun, games, and… TOYS! As many teachers around the country enjoy their summer vacation, we want to share an activity you can do with the children in your life to have fun while learning about how things are made. In the Toy Take Apart activity, created by the Tinkering Studio at the Exploratorium, discover the parts and pieces that make up your old toys. Here’s an overview what this project entails:

  • Search your house or local thrift store for mechanical toys.
  • Take a look at all of the parts of your toy and sketch out what you think the inside might look like.
  • Use materials from around your house like screwdrivers, scissors, and hammers to take apart your toy.
  • Over your original drawing, sketch out what you see now that it has been dissected. Any similarities with your original drawing? Differences?
  • After your toy is taken apart, use its pieces and any other materials you have to create something new.

For in-depth instructions and details on how to facilitate this activity, visit the Tinkering Studio’s project page.  

Are you working on a personal maker project? Excited for a project you’ll be starting in the fall? Share your work in our newsletter! Last week, we featured Shoshanna Cohen and the “Bozeville” project that her entire school participated in. If you’re interested in writing for our Spotlight section, email