Repairing Children's Toys
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.