More fun with fixing

As mentioned in a previous post, we read the book “Fix-It” by David McPhail then explored different opportunities and tools for fixing things all around our classroom. Today, I want to share with some more fun we had with fixing…

More fun with Fixing by Teach Preschool

On our “Fix-It” table, the children found a set of broken dishes and silverware with a sign up above that said, “Can you fix it?”  Who on earth would have broken Mrs. Stewart’s dishes and “Can we fix it? Yes we can!”…

More fun with Fixing by Teach Preschool

The dishes I used for this process are all plastic that I got from the Dollar Store (Deals). I chose the dishes because they look almost real.  To cut the plates in half, I used a pair of scissors to snip one edge then carefully snapped the plates in half. The children did ask me if the dishes were real and I had to explain that they were plastic dishes and only looked real…

More fun with Fixing by Teach Preschool

For the silverware, I snapped the handles off kind of low so the children could more easily tape the handle back to the fork, knife or spoon…

More fun with fixing by Teach Preschool

And as the tool of choice for fixing the dishes, I set out rolls of tape on our tape dispenser (which was our tube holder last week and a paper dispenser on other weeks) and invited the children to use the tape to see if they could fix the dishes…

More fun with fixing by teach Preschool

The children spent a lengthy portion of the morning fixing dishes. For the plates, the children had to start by matching two sides of a plate together.  Most of the plates matched up pretty nicely but since they were broken, we didn’t worry about perfection here. Once their plates were matched up the children used tape to fix them (put them back together)…

More fun with fixing by teach Preschool

To put the silverware back together, the children had to match the handle of the silverware to their fork, knife, or spoon. Again, we were not looking for perfection in the matching process but I did hear several of the children discussing with one another which handle went with the knife versus the fork or spoon. The knife handle was a little different than the other two handles. Once they found a match, the children used tape to fix the handles on our silverware…

More fun with fixing by teach Preschool

While fixing the dishes, the children had to really work to keep their items in place, pull off their desired tape from the tape dispenser, cut or tear the tape, and put the tape around the handles or across their plates. The children would test their dishes to see if they were secure. If not, the children added more tape until they were satisfied…

More fun with fixing by teach Preschool

Eventually, we ran out of “real plates” so the I gave the children some left-over paper plates to fix. While watching the children try to coordinate so many different skills to fix their dishes, it was often tempting to want to jump in there and help them but I always try to remember this quote…

“Never help a child with a task at which he feels he can succeed.”

~Maria Montessori

And the children did succeed – in fact, the children were master dish fixers!

“Never help a child with a task at which he feels he can succeed.”

As the morning progressed, the children continued to add to the process of fixing their dishes and started drawing or printing on them too…

More fun with fixing by Teach Preschool

The children’s dishes were more beautiful after they had been fixed than they ever were before!

More fun with fixing by Teach Preschool

A couple of the children went home with an entire set of dishes…

Fun with Fixing by Teach Preschool

And real quick, I want to go ahead and share this final “fix-it” process of the day. Someone tore up all of the pictures in the basket and the children had to find the matching two pieces of a picture and glue the picture back together. I wouldn’t say that this was the most popular center of the day but we did have a few takers and they did a wonderful job searching through and finding the matching pieces to their picture they chose to fix…

Fixing Torn Pictures

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By |2013-01-23T06:00:31+00:00January 23rd, 2013|

About the Author:

Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. has been working and teaching in the field of early childhood education for over 30 years. Deborah currently owns and teaches in her own part-time, private preschool called The Children’s Studio. Deborah’s deep passion for teaching and working with young children is documented and then graciously shared with millions of readers around the world through her blog and other social networking communities. Deborah believes that young children learn best through play and exploration and embraces this belief in all that she does in her own classroom so that she can effectively and passionately share rewarding, real- life, tried-and-true practices with other teachers, parents, and leaders across the field of early childhood education.


  1. Jerise January 23, 2013 at 1:49 pm - Reply

    What a wonderful station for preschoolers. Great confidence-builder!

  2. Maureen January 23, 2013 at 2:33 pm - Reply

    Awesome idea in so many ways. I’m always encouraging the children to tell me when something gets broken. It’s teaching responsibility. And we always brainstorm ways to fix it if possible.
    I like that they made it into an art project as well – wonderful!

  3. Jan K January 23, 2013 at 4:19 pm - Reply

    I do this with flashlights and batteries, and touch lights, walkie talkies and our cars.

  4. School Sparks Renee January 23, 2013 at 8:55 pm - Reply

    I love this idea! My grandsons love to help fix anything that is broken when they come to visit. I can imagine that your kids had a ball with this activity! Thanks for sharing the lesson and the book. I’ll keep my eyes open for it! Renee

  5. jean January 30, 2013 at 6:13 am - Reply

    what a wonderful idea will deffo have to try this at our service.. love it.. thanks for sharing.

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