Helping The Engineer In Your Child The Creative Way

How many of you have seen your 6-7 year old children disintegrating the toy piano, the old toy car, radio, the flower vase or the mixer-grinder? At that age they’d try to pull apart pretty much everything that moves. All parents get stoked thinking ‘Ye Zahoor engineer banega’ meaning he will surely be an engineer one day; as if we as Indians can let him be something else 😉  

When my son was about six he got to play with his first Barbie doll ( meant for his sister). Till then he was mostly playing with computers, Hot Wheel car sets, robots and old cardboard boxes. He turned it all around, saw everywhere and asked ‘Where are the motor  and the wheels?’ I asked, “What motor and wheels? It is a doll.” He asked again, “How does it run without a motor?” I replied, “It doesn’t run.” He chimed back, “So she doesn’t do anything?” I told him, “She looks good and trust me that’s quite a job!” He gave me a ‘you, lesser mortals would never understand’ look and I understood, this boy is going to give me a difficult time!

Coming back to the children being interested in the integration and disintegration of toys, one thing I’ve realised and observed over the years is that all children are born with an inherent talent for engineering. They love to know how things work, move and run. And being parents we may like it or not but understanding this, and  providing them not only with the appropriate toys and material but also with a conducive environment and curiosity building questions, can help them gain better understanding of basic science laws in a fun way.

But what can creating a new Hot Wheels Track or disintegrating the mixer grinder teach?

It helps them learn what they know and question what they don’t:

My 7 year old nephew was recently gifted a HotWheels Engineering Series car set and oh boy, was he happy! He has experimented at every surface in his house to paste the track on, including the tiles in the bathroom, under the table, on the fridge and the mirror. Yes, now he knows which surfaces are glue friendly 🙂 And since all the HotWheels Track System allows any piece to connect to any other, the possibilities are endless for this little bundle of joy.


Play way Learning

My nephew’s questions on ‘how his HotWheels car runs so fast’ to ‘why can’t he stick the track on roof,’ have made his parents go crazy but the educationist in me is secretly happy because by doing all that he is doing, he is understanding the laws of physics without even realising it. It is happening by elevating the track to increase the speed, understanding gravity, adjusting velocity, repositioning and many more things by trial and error. He is using utensils, cushions, books (as a stand) to make a race-course within the living room and I can see him playing for hours.

As a dutiful Maasi, I am trying my best to give him as much information to apply his new found love for speed in various creative ways. For instance, I found that Rob of Mad fame did an outstanding DIY activity with Hot Wheels Power Booster Kit and made an epic desert terrain. And since my son and I have been a Rob fan all our life, I immediately shared the video with my nephew.  It’s been a few hours and according to his Mom, they are still building the dinosaur.(of course I’ve been told that I’ll be killed by my sister and brother in law as they are doing this after distributing gifts all day on chhoti Diwali.)

#HotWheels Engineer Series, Desert Storm

P.S. Got an amazing piece of news for my lovely readers. if your little inventors, engineers and innovators are a fan of Rob like my son and I, you can meet him on November 13th at a Hot Wheels hosted event at Phoenix Market City, Kurla, Mumbai. Wait! there’s more; You’d not only meeting the most creative and fun guy, but will also get to see the construction of a LIVE Hot Wheels world, built by Rob himself! Excited? Keep reading for more information on this.

It helps them see failure in a new light

Failure isn’t always bad. Most of the times, it is more important than success. Engineering and DIY activities related to engineering and learning can help children learn this extremely crucial life and science lesson at an early age, helping them deal with it and move on to try harder. 

You can also read: 7 Out Of The World Ideas To Keep Your Active Children Busy

Learn Crucial Life Skills 

Any hands-on, project based learning is always the essence of engineering. My son has made many projects out of cardboards, unused material, old electrical stuff and has shown off to us with pride. I knew then and I know now that anything our children can build with their creativity, and bare hands, which henceforth give them immense satisfaction. It could be a track, a make belief setting or a new way to play with existing toys, but all these activities help them learn better life skills like collaboration, team-building, creativity, problem solving and a sense of purpose for life.

Toys that help accelerate learning can help better the pace of understanding things conceptually and help children have a better learning pace. Take the latest #BuildwithHotWheels engineering series of track sets for example. It can be a teaching in siblings fun, team work, making sand dunes, paper activity, creating cardboard buildings,  and figuring out the topography of the desert. All the fun without the screen! Parents can’t be happier 🙂

P.S: My sister called to say that she finally got the dinosaur the way Rob has demonstrated in his video here…

I am sharing her words after a very hectic day she had…

“It was amazing seeing ‘Dhruv’ (her son) play with the set so enthusiastically. He hasn’t watched TV in last two days and I can’ be happier.  The best part about the HotWheels Engineering Set seems like Minecraft in real life with cars. And personally, the one thing I liked most was that he didn’t have to play by the rules.”

I asked her to write a review somewhere. Her words seemed like it;)

In the end, I would like you all to observe, what does your child like to play, build, make. Ask questions to build his curiosity, challenge him to new boundaries and spend time doing DIY activities to help him be the engineer at heart and not just in his career!