Fun With Kids

Have a 'Pull Apart' day and see how stuff works

This activity shows kids that the stuff we use every day isn't magic! If you have items that are old, broken and about to get thrown away, take them apart and see what is happening behind the scenes.

April 5, 2024

Kids are naturally curious, and taking apart appliances is one of many ways to help feed their curiosity and to encourage learning (and they won't even realise they're doing it!). Taking things apart to explore removes the mystery and can encourage the next generation of engineers and inventors!

Getting started

Look for old appliances and everyday items you no longer need - ask friends, family and neighbours if they have anything they are about to throw out. You could also ask for old or broken items through your local Buy Nothing Facebook page.

You could pull apart a:

  • Toaster

  • Hair dryer

  • Landline telephone (you may have to explain what they are to your kids first!)

  • Clock - battery operated and wind up

  • Remote-control car

  • Iron

  • Camera

  • Toy

  • VCR and DVD player

  • TV remote-control

  • Computer mouse

  • Torch

  • Calculator

You'll need some basic tools such as:

  • Screwdrivers

  • Allen keys

  • Pliers


TV sets or computer monitors. Even when unplugged, they can have high voltages.


  • Cut off any plugs and remove any batteries.

  • Children must be supervised at all times. Some appliances may contain sharp pieces.

  • Wear safety goggles in case something goes flying.

  • Use your common sense. If you are unsure about something, don't pull it apart.

  • Obviously, the item which has been pulled apart cannot be used again, even if it's put back together.

Always try to recycle your items when you have finished.

Electrical appliances should never be put in your general household waste bin.

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