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Kitchen Contraptions

We use these gadgets everyday to help make our lives a little easier. Your home is full of gadgets and contraptions, many of which can be found in your kitchen.

These activities are part of Science World's Big Science for Little Hands program. They were developed and tested with Preschool and Kindergarten educators.

Gadgets and Contraptions printable guide


  • Investigate everyday machines and gadgets.


  • Per Class or Group:
    magnifying glasses ( 1 per child or student pair)
    chopsticks, tongs, tweezers
    garlic press
    potato masher
    can opener
    turkey baster
    ice cream scoop

Key Questions

  • What do you think we use this for?
  • How do we work it?
  • How does it make our job easier?

What To Do

  1. Have the gadgets on a tray and covered with a cloth.
  2. Bring out a gadget; try to guess what it might be used for.
  3. Pass the gadget around and look at it using magnifying glasses.
  4. Repeat with the other gadgets.


  • Have a few of each type of tool and compare them. For example: How are two or three ice cream scoops the same? How are they different?
  • Ask children to look for contraptions in their own kitchens and bring in some examples.
  • Use the kitchen tools to make art. Drip paint with the turkey baster, make prints with the potato masher, etc.
  • Put basters and droppers in a water table to give children more opportunity to explore them.
  • Challenge your dexterity. Use tweezers, tongs, chopsticks, etc. to move small objects such as pompoms from one container to another.