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Locks, Latches & Switches
Type: Crafts   Skills: Critical ThinkingPhysical & Motor Skills
Problem-solving skills are essential tools to help kids succeed in school and throughout life. What you may not know is that the key to developing these skills in your child is encouraging her creativity. Fostering a childís ability to find creative solutions when your child is very young will help him or her learn to make appropriate decisions when faced with dilemmas now and in the future. In this activity, youíll find out how to provide your child with the tools to become a successful problem-solver. Locks, Latches & Switches
What We Learn
Problem solving
Cause and effect
Fine motor development
Supply List
Children see the adults in their life everyday using locks, latches, switches and doorknobs. Kids yearn to be able to reach out and touch these items. A fun and safe way to be able to introduce these items to your children is by creating a board, which includes many of these objects.

Simply take a medium-sized piece of plywood (approximately 2 feet by 2 feet) and use an ordinary screwdriver and screws to fasten various locks, latches, switches and doorknobs to the board.

Make sure all the objects are secured tightly to the board. Your children will be tugging on the items, so you donít want anything to fall off or come loose. Remember to check that there are no sharp edges or corners to the pieces that you are using.

When you have completed assembling your board, introduce the board to your children and supervise their play with it. They will want to reach out and try to interact with all of the items. Some of the objects might be easier for them to use, such as a simple on/off light switch, but other items might take some trial and error for them to figure out, such as a latch with chain.

To promote development of problem-solving skills, encourage your children to figure out how to use the various objects on their own. If they canít figure something out, donít immediately rush in and do it for them. Ask open-ended questions and encourage them to discuss how they think it might work. When they do figure out how to use the various switches and latches, remember to reinforce their accomplishments by using praise to acknowledge their problem-solving successes.
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