Tech Machines

Explore Special Machine Parts

The objective of this lesson is for children to use spatial awareness to understand how objects move, observe and describe special parts and functions. The children will build a model with a special part and demonstrate how it works.

0-30 min
Peuterspeelzaal-Groep 1


Tell the children that machines need to move in special ways to complete their tasks and solve problems.

Explain that machines often have special parts that enable them to move in these different ways.
Show the children all the of special, movable parts from the set and demonstrate how each one works:

  • The pulley moves up and down
  • The blade spins
  • The yellow turntable pivots
  • The tumbler rotates

Explain how certain machines incorporate these special parts to enable them to perform unique functions.
If possible, show pictures or videos of real machines that use some of these elements (e.g., a crane with a pulley or a wind turbine with a blade).



Ask the children to build a machine with one of the special parts they just saw.
Explain that they can build any machine, it doesn’t have to be a construction machine, but it must have one of the four special parts.

Tell the children that they may use the building cards for inspiration or design their own machine.
Help the children as needed to attach some of the special parts.

Once the children have finished building, ask each child to share their model with the group and demonstrate its special part and function.


Facilitate a discussion about the importance of machines being able to move in unique ways.

Ask questions like:

  • What special part does your machine have?
  • What does the special part allow your machine to do?
  • How does that function help to solve a problem?


Consider setting up little challenges (e.g., a nearby town needs a wind turbine to create energy or LEGO® DUPLO® construction workers need help lifting material up a big cliff).

Ask the children to solve the challenge.

Did you notice?

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

  • Science - Using strategy and planning to solve problems
  • Science - Observing and describing objects and events
  • Engineering - Building physical models and illustrating how they function
  • Engineering - Investigating, asking questions, making observations, and gathering information to inform the design of machines or tools
  • Math - Using spatial awareness to understand objects and how they move

Ondersteuning voor de leraar

Children will:

  • Use spatial awareness to understand how objects move
  • Demonstrate how to solve problems
  • Observe and describe special parts and functions
  • Build a model with a special part and demonstrate how it works
  • Ask questions, make observations, and gather information to inform the design of machines

For up to 4 children

Tech Machines set (45002)
Pictures or videos of real machines

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.

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