A special morning mat-time was held this morning as we had a special guest at Kindergarten. Katie's Grandfather Ian,(affectionately known as 'Bampy') is a Model Engineer who makes things that have moving parts or make a noise, they are called Kinetics. Katie's whole family came along to support, her Mum Samantha, Dad Martin and little sister Sarah. Nana Jenny was on hand to help as well. Katie had a special role, she was Bampy's special assistant and she took this job very seriously, keeping good control of the situation. Actually we discovered Katie was very knowledgeable about these things as she named several of the parts during the demonstration.
Ian demonstrated each toy model, describing how each one worked, and what purpose each of the moving parts had. We learnt about lantern gears, spider gears and eccentric gears. Some were run by propeller and wind fan and some were magnetised or had a handle to wind!
The children were able to personally explore the models and have a go at working them which enabled discussion and investigation of how things work.
Then Ian invited the some children to come and make a lighthouse. Such thought and preparation had been put into today's demonstration.
Children who were interested wrote their name down on a list and then came to work with Ian, Samantha and Chrissy who supported the children as they made their very own mini lighthouse that turned. There was a process involved in the making which was to saw and sand the doweling which connected the parts together, add the coloured doweling which represented the colours of shining light, then stick and insert the pieces together, and finally write their name on the bottom. This all took a fair bit of time, patience and perseverance.
Later in the morning, after everyone had explored the models and had a go at making a lighthouse, Ian demonstrated the how to work the steam engine, with a little meths and lighter, all very carefully and safely done of course, everyone waiting with bated breathe to see the whether little steam engine would come to life.... and sure enough, a puff and a splutter and away it went! You could hear the little wheels and cogs turning.... just like the little engine that could.
What an exciting morning we had today, exploring and playing with all these wonderful model toys, and finding out how these work.
We would like to say a big THANK YOU to Ian and Jenny for coming along and sharing these wonderful toy models with us. Also a huge thank you to Katie for running the show :) and Samantha and Martin for supporting us during the morning.