|

Combo Inventions

Required:

  • Magazines, junk mail, and other disposable picture sources

When engineers set out to design something, they typically have a purpose (or function) in mind. What would happen if the process went backwards and the purpose of an invention followed its form?

For this activity, you'll need pictures (from magazines, brochures, junk mail, etc.) of mechanical or electronic things. Next, cut the pictures into smaller pieces: the wheels or headlights of a car, the keyboard from a computer, the keypad from a telephone, and so on. Place the cut out pictures in a bowl and have each of the participants in the activity reach into the bowl, close their eyes, and retrieve a handful. Each person now combines the pieces into a device, appliance, or some other machine, and then explains what the contraption does.

You can vary the activity by setting a time limit for creating a contraption. Or you can play so that others have to guess what the device does. Another alternative is to have everyone finish making his or her machine, then hand out a surprise piece that must be incorporated at the last minute. The possibilities are endless—and so are the goofy gizmos that can result!

|

From 365 TV-Free Activities You Can Do With Your Child Copyright © 2007, F+W Publications, Inc. Used by permission of Adams Media, and F+W Publications Company. All rights reserved.

To order this book go to amazon.


stay connected

Sign up for our free email newsletters and receive the latest advice and information on all things parenting.

Enter your email address to sign up or manage your account.

Facebook icon Twitter icon Follow Us on Pinterest

editor’s picks

jack-o'-lantern creator

Design and print
your own
jack-o’-
lanterns!

GO

highlights

Top 10 Free Homework Help Websites
Is helping your child with homework more frustrating and confusing than ever before, thanks to the new Common Core standards? Check out the best free homework help websites to boost kids' success in math, science, English, and more.

Kindergarten Readiness App Wins Gold
Our Kindergarten Readiness app won the Gold Award of Excellence in the educational category at the 2014 Communicator Awards. This valuable checklist comes with games and activities to help your child practice the essential skills she needs for kindergarten. Download the Kindergarten Readiness app today!

11 Fantastic Fall Apple Desserts
Nothing says fall like the smell of an apple dessert baking in the oven. Use up your family's surplus of apples with our 11 favorite apple dessert recipes.

Find Today's Newest & Best Children's Books!
Looking for newly released books for your child? Try our new Book Finder tool to search for new books by age, type, and theme, and create reading lists for kids!