Tech Machines set with Storage

Explore Helping Machines

In this lesson children will investigate how machines help people, design their own machines and work together to build different versions.

0-30 min
Reception-Year 1


Tell the children about a special type of machine called a robot.
Explain that robots can help with a lot of different tasks.
Ask the children to name and describe robots they have seen or heard about.

Tell the children that even though a lot of different robots have been invented, there are still many more tasks we’d like their help with. There are small tasks like loading the dishwasher and bigger tasks like providing medical treatment to sick people.



Ask the children to build a model of their very own robot and that they may draw a picture first if they like.

Once the children have finished building, ask each child to share their robot with the group and talk about its features and what it can do.


Facilitate a discussion about the children’s robots.

Ask questions like:

  • How would you describe your robot?
  • What can your robot do?

Ask the children to think about a problem or task their robot might help with.
Have them demonstrate how the robot can help with this task (e.g., if it’s a cleaning robot, ask it to clean up toys in the classroom).


Tell the children that some robots can do many different things at once.

Ask them to add another element to their robot (e.g., another arm or a rotating function) to make it an even more useful machine.

Did you notice?

Observing the following skills can help you monitor whether the children are developing the necessary competencies:

  • Science - Observing and describing objects and events
  • Technology - Asking questions about technology-related concepts
  • Engineering - Investigating, asking questions, making observations, and gathering information to inform the design of machines or tools
  • Engineering - Participating in the engineering process by designing, building, and testing models
  • Math - Recognizing, comparing, and naming shapes; beginning to recognize that objects are composed of different shapes

Teacher Support

Children will:

  • Design machines to solve problems
  • Investigate how machines help people
  • Test and adapt machine designs
  • Work with others to build different machines

For up to 4 children

Tech Machines set (45002)
Colored pencils or crayons

The learning guidelines from the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC), Head Start, and the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) have been used to develop the Tech Machines lessons. This Teacher Guide focuses on the learning values for math, science, and engineering. Please refer to the learning grid for an overview of the learning values referenced throughout the lessons. The learning goals listed at the end of each lesson can be used to determine whether each child is developing the relevant skills. These bullet points target specific skills or pieces of information that are practiced or presented during each lesson.