If you work with preschoolers you know their fascination with machines! They’re quick to point out construction equipment, love visiting the copy machine with you, and often pretend to man the controls of everything from rocket ships to cappuccino makers. This fascination doesn’t end when we reach adulthood. In fact, I experienced something like it just last week when Kodo founder, Chris Hume and I were graciously invited to One Touch Point to see our catalog being printed.

The printing plant was full of large mechanical objects. We saw magazines, business cards, posters, booklets, and menus all coming to life before our eyes. A long row of old fashioned industrial printing presses stopped us in our tracks and was one of the highlights of our field trip. Each had been re purposed from paper printers into foil stamping units and were happily humming as they put the finishing touch on our local, much beloved Chocolove chocolate bar wrappers.

Throughout the plant, clattering arms, giant wheels, and shiny conveyors whisked paper along by hundreds of pages per second. We were delighted to see the large scale machinery in action and learned how the each individual unit was essential to the overall function of the system. After being stacked, inked, pushed, turned, pressed, dried, cut, and collated, ordinary paper took the form of our very own Kodo Winter 2018 catalog. It was great fun and really exciting to see! Thank you to Mary Ann and all the wonderful employees at One Touch Point for taking time to teach us something new!

Tips To Support Preschoolers’ Fascination with Machinery:

  • Visit the internet for terrific videos of industrial machinery in action – there are many newspaper printing process video clips that are under 5 minutes and feature impressive machinery and mechanisms. Use this as an opportunity to launch a class newspaper project.
  • Build your own wacky machine using loose parts from Kodo and your classroom.
  • Use your Makerspace to deconstruct old machines like toasters, hair dryers, and boom boxes – then use the parts to make a sculpture or a new machine!

Kodo products which inspire machine fascination:

(Check out the video of the old fashioned press!)