We all know kids are full of questions--especially when it comes to discovering how objects work in the world around them. To provide you (and them) with some answers, we've gathered these videos that take a behind-the-scenes look at how some everyday objects are built or made. An Ohio mom reported, "This project introduced me to another category of videos I had not considered. It also gave me an opportunity to see the wide variety of videos available at the main library downtown. There were lots of titles on how things work and are built."
We bet you'll be amazed, too. So grab the popcorn and a hard hat if you have one, and get ready for these nifty video field trips.
How a Car Is Built
(Think Media, ages 4-12).
Buckle your seatbelt for a trip to the Ford Mustang factory. Viewers get an up-close look at the assembly line where these sleek driving machines are put together.
Works: Fun and Games
(Sony Wonder, ages 3-10).
The kids who star in this video travel from the Works Clubhouse to a number of factories and workshops to see how some favorite playthings are created. Get the lowdown on how professionals construct kites, puppets and swing sets. And you won't want to miss the tour of the crayon factory.
Take your child to see the real thing. Call up your local factories and see if any of them have tours for children.
The Teddy Bear Factory
(Premier Images, ages 4-up)
Freddy, a friendly talking bear, leads young viewers through the Basic Brown Bear Factory in San Francisco. See all that goes into building a teddy bear from cutting out a pattern to sewing the last stitch. Fun facts about the teddy bear's origin are also included.
"How a Car Is Built" led the pack for our test families. The B. family in Cincinnati checked out the video from their local library. "It was worth the search. The kids loved it!" Mom told us. The title was a real eye-opener for the whole family. Mom added, "I was amazed at how involved the process is--wow! We may consider a factory tour. My kids already love to go visit the plant where my husband works. The machines there are fascinating!"
The Hannans were equally impressed with "How a Car Is Built". They, too, found the video at their public library. Mom noted that "Jack (4) loved the parrot narrator and remembered the car video because of it. Jack is very mechanical anyway, and he was glued to the set. We both found the painting process very interesting, and we talked about how each person in a factory was responsible for a specific job and is an expert at it." In "Works: Fun and Games", crayons were the draw. "The crayon factory was very cool and interesting. Jack was fascinated in the process and by how the specialized machinery operates. These videos were very thorough. The narration stayed on level and was very well done; both kids were attentive through both titles."
Take It From Me: "We have friends in Philadelphia we are visiting this fall, and this reminded me to try and see the Hershey [chocolate/candy] plant when we're there. I haven't researched factory tours on the Internet before, but I will, to plan the Hershey trip." --The Hannans