Toys break. Stuffed animals get torn. Books get ripped. When this happens, we have the choice to either toss the toys and books, buy more, and start the cycle of abuse all over again . . . or we can choose to teach our children to repair the damage.
Just as we teach our children to make amends when they hurt a sibling or friend, we can choose to utilize our children’s playthings as a double opportunity for our kids to practice proper care as well as instill the skill and will to mend that which has been broken.
Our hope in exercising this art of care and repair, is that our children will not only learn the hand skills of mending their belongings, but that they will also learn to cherish and value them in the process.
Our hope is that through gluing and stitching, their little hands will ultimately take to heart the merit of stewardship; that through the act of treasuring their toys and books, treasures they will truly become.
Thanks for tuning in for Toy Week; getting playful with practical-life activities! If you’re just joining us, here’s what you’ve missed so far:
- Skill School Week Six: 🧸TOY CHOREY🪀 getting playful with practical life activities!
- Toy *Chorey* Day 1: ✨TOY SPA🖌️ detailing dirt, dust, and dings!
TOY HOSPITAL; Glue Crew, Stuffy Surgery, plus Book Mending!
A house full of refreshed toys and books is the least to be gained from today’s Skill School! So, grab that Toy Hospital box of broken toys and books you’ve been collecting, and let’s get to the gluin’, screw drivin’, stitchin’, and fixin’!
~Glue & Screwdriver Crew (for kids of all ages)~
SKILL SUPPLY LIST:
- a collection of broken toys to be repaired with glue or a screwdriver/other tools (save items in need of stitching for later)
- an assortment of glue including wood glue, Elmer’s glue, and most importantly Gorilla Glue
- Q-tips for drips!
- clothespins or other “stabilizers” to hold toy pieces in place while glue is drying
- tape, possibly for minor repairs, or to hold small plastic parts together while glue is drying
- doctor’s outfit/costume for extra make-believe fun and extended focus!
1.) Set up a Toy Hospital station with the above supplies.
2.) Help your child put on her doctor costume or even just a mask (which of course we all have now). This will help her get into the spirit of Toy Hospital. And don’t be afraid to get into the play of it!
“Uh-oh, he’s in bad shape! We’re gonna need to operate.”
3.) Encourage your child to select a toy and to play doctor, looking for breaks and tears.
4.) Determine with your child how to treat the damage. Does the toy need glue? A screw tightened? A few stitches? Tackle one type of “injury” at a time, setting aside toys in need of stitches in a sort of “waiting room” area while you attend first to only things that need glue or tightened screws.
5.) Help your child fix his toys but allow him to do as much on his own as he is able. Take as much time as needed to show him how to properly use a screwdriver, steady a toy for him, or wait patiently while he learns to effectively squeeze out a drop of Gorilla Glue. Even our two-year old was able to help Papa squeeze out a few drops of glue and help him tighten some screws. Help your little ones to do as much as they are able.
6.) Help your child employ “stabilizers” as needed while the glue dries. Be sure to tell your child not to play with the toy until it has had a complete “recovery.”
~Stuffy Surgery (for kids 6 and up)~
If you were with us for Sewing Week, you may recall the case we made for sewing as a prerequisite skill for many careers; perhaps especially engineering and medical fields. I shared that my husband touts learning to sew as one of the activities most formational in his hand skills and ultimately his career as a surgeon. Well today we are applying this concept literally in playing doctor with our kids!
Performing surgery on broken toys and stuffed animals is thrilling to kids, especially when mom or dad is acting as surgeon’s assistant!
While sewing a sampler or nine-patch quilt can be underwhelming for some kids, stitching up a teddy bear or putting a heart patch on a rag doll is guaranteed to get a child excited about using a needle and thread. For specific sewing help and stitches to use, refer to my previous post: Ten 🧶Sewing Skills🧵 for Kids from One to Ninety-Two!
SKILL SUPPLY LIST:
- a collection of stuffed animals that need stitches or patches (we will get to mending doll clothes/accessories later in the week)
- a sewing kit
- fabric scissors
- fabric scraps for patches
- safety goggles
1.) Set up a Toy Hospital area with the above supplies.
2.) Help your child select a toy to start with and identify what kind of operation is in order. What kind of stitch should be used? What size and shape of patch? Which print? What color thread or stitching should we use?
3.) Put on safety goggles and explain that needles are sharp!
4.) Let your child practice some stitches on a scrap piece of fabric prior to operating if needed.
5.) Assist your child in stitching up a stuffed animal, sewing on a patch, or performing cosmetic surgery with embroidery floss (such as lip or eyebrow touch-ups on a fabric doll).
6.) As you operate, take the time to help your child thread a needle, use fabric scissors to cut out a fabric patch, tie a knot, or master a stitch.
~Book Mending (for kids 6 and up)~
SKILL SUPPLY LIST:
- a collection of books in need of repair (ripped pages, broken pop-ups, loose pages, collapsing bindings, etc.)
- Scotch tape and Gorilla Glue
- Q-tips to clean up drips!
- Clothespins and small heavy objects to act as “stabilizers” while glue dries
1.) Set up a Book Mending station with the above supplies.
2.) Help your child select a book and assess the damage.
Discuss how you will repair the book:
- ripped/torn pages = tape
- loose pages in binding = Gorilla Glue
- broken pop-ups = squares of cardstock or felt + Gorilla Glue
- collapsing binding = felt or fabric binding strip and Gorilla Glue
3.) Mend each book one at a time.
*Loose pages falling out of books are a breeze to fix! Simply put a few SMALL drops of Gorilla Glue along the inner binding where the pages should attach, carefully add the pages in how they should be positioned, and close the book! It’s that simple!
*Broken Pop ups, pull tabs, and flaps often just require a new mechanism attachment. Cardstock or felt cut to size works perfectly! This was a moving pull-tab book we purchased damaged at a garage sale last week and now it’s just like new!
Restored books just make me happy! Seeing a kangaroo able to jump again, or a hippo with his head back on is a joyful thing.
Tune in later this week for Caring for Dolly Dear; dressing and mending!
Thanks ever so much for reading!
Love, ~Our Holistic Homeschool~