The Fixer-Upper is a two-story playhouse with activities inside designed to develop concepts of mechanics and design. The activities can be experienced in a free or structured (e.g. with parent or staff) play format. The activities inside, their learning goals, and related programming are listed below.
The Leaky Sink
Description: Children will “fix” a leaky sink by connecting and arranging the pipes below the sink. The pipes will be transparent PVC pipes. The “water” will be balls just big enough to not be choking hazards. The “fix” is successful if the water travels from the sink through the pipes to the exit hole at the bottom. Pipe choices will include junctions, straight sections, curved sections, and valves.
Learning Goals: Children will learn sequencing, cause & effect, problem solving.
Related Programming: Offer workshops where each kid makes a mini water table with the help of a parent. The water table will include pipes and perhaps other fun features. The kids will get to take their creation home. There will be a fee to cover supplies.
The Tile Countertop
Description: Children will select and lay tiles to fill an area of a countertop. The space on the countertop will be recessed to help contain the tiles. Different sets of tiles with various shapes and color will be available. The tiles will be either painted wood or colored plastic.
Learning Goals: Children will use and learn skills involving sorting and ordering, color schemes, and geometric shapes.
Related Programming: Depending on the age group, there will be activities and discussion of colors and shapes. Each child will make a tiling pattern out of paper of foam rubber with the help of a parent. There may be a fee for supplies.
The Broken Furniture
Description: Children will fix a “broken” chair and table by using nuts and bolts and the appropriate tool.
Learning Goals: Children will learn cause and effect, problem solving, and tool choice. Fine motor skills involving turning, inserting, and aligning will be applied.
Related Programming: A workshop in which each child makes a simple table, stool, or chair with the help of a parent. The constructed item is taken home. There will be a fee for supplies.
The Electrical Panel
Description: Children will connect wires in a panel to electrify appliances. Electricity will be low voltage and provided by batteries. Switches can be both on/off types (bimodal) and variable types (rheostats). Appliances, all toy versions, can include lamps, fans, alarms, and possibly a train.
Learning Goals: Children will develop logical reasoning skills.
Related Programming: Children aged 6 – 10 can make simple circuits using breadboards for children.
Description: Children will decorate the outside of the building with colorful wood rosettes and architectural elements.
Learning Goals: Children will develop concepts of grouping, seriation, categorization, and symmetry.
Related Programming: No programming planned.