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Repairing Children's Toys

Updated on December 25, 2009

How to Fix Children's Toys

Children's toys are great until they stop working. Most people then put the toy to the back of a cupboard until it eventually goes in the bin.

This is disappointing for the child, expensive for the parent and generally a waste of money. Unfortunately most people don't realise how simple most toys are to fix.

This lens gives important information on how to fix children's toys.

Photographs by my daughter, Rebecca.

As an example I am going to explain how an electronic scoring system on a basketball game was repaired.

The first job is to diagnose the problem and identify what is wrong.

In this example the paddle that registers the ball passing through the 2 point net was not registering. Checking the other net, the paddle on that one was working and registering in the electronic scorer. This suggests the problem is with the paddle. Next job is to remove the paddle for more investigation.

If you are going to repair any toys you will need a small tool kit of some sort.

The one pictured here has a good selection of tools including a soldering iron.

In a basic tool kit you should have a small flat head screwdriver, a small cross head screwdriver, and a small pair of pliers.

In addition to this, depending on what you want to repair and your confidence you may wish to add a soldering iron, a small hammer, a wider selection of screwdrivers and a small pair of wire cutters.

Whatever you have, you will be surprised how much you can do with a small selection of tools.

Get your own Toolkit - Check out these great offers

If you want to start repairing toys you may want to invest in a small tool kit.

The most critical thing to do is to identify the defect. It is worth spending extra time doing this otherwise you may try to repair things that are not broken and end up making things worse!

In this example you can see that after taking the cover off it is plainly visible that a wire has come adrift of its solder connection. It needs to be resoldered to the connection.

This is an extremely common problem in childrens toys. It is also a fairly simple thing to fix.

The fix required is to solder the wire back on to its connection.

There are a couple of types of soldering iron. The one in this picture is a rapid heat model that quickly heats up when you press a trigger. Others have to be left for a few minutes to warm up before using. Both are good.

When soldering, it is important that you prepare the wire to be soldered. To do this, make sure the wire is clean, then using the soldering iron warm the wire until the solder melts. Apply some new solder directly to the wire. Don't be tempted to speed things up by melting the solder with the soldering iron, this will only lead to a bad joint.

Once you have prepared the wire, warm the connection point and then bring the wire in. When it is hot enough the solder will run from the wire to the connection. When this happens stop applying heat and hold the wire steady to allow the joint to cool. After a few seconds the joint should have solidified. Give the wire a gentle tug to make sure the joint has taken.

Let the soldering iron cool before putting it away.

Need some more help to repair your childs toys - These fantastic books will give you some more help.

Once the repair has been made, you then have to reassemble the components that you have taken apart.

This can be a bit difficult sometimes, especially if there are springs involved. One tip is never to force something. If you have to force it the chances are you are trying to do it wrong and you will probably break something. Also take care with springs as they can release quickly and puncture fingers.

Another good tip is to take a digital photograph when you first take a cover off. You can use this as a reference later on to remind yourself how the childs toy should go back together.

Often I find a small prodding tool similar to this one is useful to help move small items. This can be especially useful in tight spaces where you need to keep your fingers out of the way to see what you are doing.

Keep the Children Happy - Keep them busy while you repair their toys

Check out these great items that will keep children occupied while you fix the toys that they have broken.

The repair of this Child's Toy is now almost complete. The cover needs to go back on. Notice the knot in the cable. This is to try and prevent the cable from pulling through and breaking the solder connections.

Replace all the screws in the holes that they originally came from or clip plastic covers back in to place. Remember if things don't go together neatly and comfortably there is probably something wrong.



Finally the component is all fully assembled and just required fixing back onto the main assembly.

Need some spares? - Check out some of these Children's Toy's repair products.

What do you think of this lens? Do you have any tips to add? Do you have any specific questions? This is your opportunity to leave your comments for all to see. Please feel free to add to this lens via this guestbook.

Tell me what you think. - Do you have any tips to add?

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    • aquariann profile image

      aquariann 9 years ago

      Great tips! Interesting idea for a lens, too. :D

    • MatCauthon profile image

      MatCauthon 9 years ago

      Hmmm.. I gave all my toys to an orphanage a few years back. Now I fix my nephews toys.

    • profile image

      anonymous 9 years ago

      Great lens. Our little one has a ton of toys at home, and I loathe the thought of them going to waste....

    • MarcoG profile image

      Marc 9 years ago from Edinburgh

      Great lens...I'm sure this will prove extremely helpful to a lot of people :)

    • MarcoG profile image

      Marc 9 years ago from Edinburgh

      Great lens...I'm sure this will prove extremely helpful to a lot of people :)

    • profile image

      CherryShrimp 9 years ago

      great tips.. save me some money in buying new toys for my kids

    • Paula Atwell profile image

      Paula Atwell 9 years ago from Cleveland, OH

      Lots of stuff to repair here. We are past children's toys, but lots of adult toys around.

    • The Homeopath profile image

      The Homeopath 9 years ago

      Absolutely BRILLIANT idea for a lens! With 4 kiddos, I must say, I'm getting to be quite handy at repairing things around here.

    • DividingLine profile image

      DividingLine 9 years ago

      They don't build toys like they used to, so learning to repair them certainly makes sense.

    • Haveagood1 profile image

      Haveagood1 9 years ago

      Useful lens and helpful pictures - thanks!

    • profile image

      saraht43 9 years ago

      Wow, great information.

    • Stazjia profile image

      Carol Fisher 9 years ago from Warminster, Wiltshire, UK

      This is such a useful lens particularly because you've got good photos to illustrate what to do.

    • profile image

      dandepp 9 years ago

      Nice lens - this will save me some money come Xmas! Nice work!

    • AslanBooks profile image

      AslanBooks 9 years ago

      Nice lens...I love fixing stuff...I'm a true DIY'er!

    • SusannaDuffy profile image

      Susanna Duffy 9 years ago from Melbourne Australia

      These are all powered toys. When I pick up one of the kid's toys, and see that it's broken I chuck it. So I have learned something here. Thanks

    • profile image

      ChristiannaGarrett-Martin 9 years ago

      A very useful to know lens! Lots of info here.

      Christianna.

    • Mihaela Vrban profile image

      Mihaela Vrban 9 years ago from Croatia

      Great work! I always try to fix stuff before throwing them away!

      Check my new group: http://www.squidoo.com/groups/reuseall It will give you even more ideas!

    • religions7 profile image

      religions7 9 years ago

      I love the idea of putting a knot in the cable - useful for other stuff than kids toys as well :)

    • profile image

      sbucciarel 9 years ago

      Great lense. The Firestorm Forum is great for promoting your lenses and blogs. There's a very active Squidoo community there. firestormforum.com Hope you check it out. I also have a lense about it at http://www.squidoo.com/firestorm

    • James20 profile image

      James20 9 years ago

      Well, it seems that us Dads are always fixing something if not for the child then it for the wife. : )

      5*****

    • thepartyanimal2 profile image

      thepartyanimal2 9 years ago

      we r always fixing toys - good work

    • ArtByLinda profile image

      Linda Hoxie 9 years ago from Idaho

      This is a very nice lens, with a unique topic that is very useful, thanks for sharing!

    • Teacher Adez7 profile image

      Teacher Adez7 9 years ago

      Nice! :)