Make a backyard control panel with your kids


This looks like a great weekend project:

Depending on your child’s experience and motor skills, this will require some adult supervision. How much you involve yourself is up to you but I’m warning you, you may want to join in on the fun! This project is perfect for cleaning out junk drawers and miscellaneous tools and hardware. All you need is a piece of wood (we used a wooden stool), random hardware and tools and imagination. Encourage your child to use their imagination when rummaging through things to use. Think outside the box when looking for items to use. You can get ideas from what we used or come up with your own. Let your child use the screwdriver, hammer some nails, and paint. He’ll get early experience with tools and how they work and will feel a major accomplishment when you guys finish the “control panel”.

Make a “Control Panel” with your kids (via Craft)

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  1. If you could make a control panel for your kids, the world would beat a path to your door.

  2. Brings back memories. I used to create cockpits and control panels on discarded cardboard cartons and spend hours flying my space ship. More paper, glue than these kinds of moving parts though. 

  3. That’s wonderful!

    There’s some necessary context from the coworking. For example, the church nursery in which I apparently spent a lot of time had several plastic control panels with spinny things, lever things, abacus things, ding buttons, but I never understood them or found them particularly interesting without adult discussion of the *possibilities*.

  4. Yay!  They can learn to become disposable coffee cup sleeve cutting machine operators!

    /The jobs the kids would be training would likely be as disposable too.  They’ll be moved to Quanzhou City.

    //I found these kinds of toys boring, even as a kid.  I much preferred building forts, playing war, wandering around town and the woods, fishing, and playing ‘bouchie-cachette’  (‘cache-cache’ for you’all that learned French a second language).

  5. “Let your child use the screwdriver, hammer some nails, and paint. He’ll get early experience with tools and how they work and will feel a major accomplishment when you guys finish”

    He or she. I don’t see why girls wouldn’t enjoy this, too.

    1. Hi I’m the author of this blog post.  I did not mean to single out one gender over another.  I have two boys and two girls who all like to play and make this toy.  Sorry to have confused you. And if you’ll notice in the picture, my daughter (who is the one wearing the skirt) is playing with the control panel.

  6. My friends father built one from spare parts in thre late 1960’s. We used it to play Apollo and may other things. Simple and wonderful play toy.

  7. My Dad made me one of these when I was a child in the 80’s. It was made from left over switches and wires from when our house was re-wired. I loved it and played with it endlessly. I even took it into school to show the class!

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