Toy Hacking: Because a toy is more fun on the inside

Toy Hacking is a fun and playful way to learn how circuits work. In this workshop we start with used electronic toys rescued from thrift stores and garage sales. Then we carefully and safely take the toys apart to learn how they work. Participants explore both the simplicity and complexity of these toys and their unique circuits and are shown how to identify inputs, outputs and power. We’ll experiment with circuit bending and reverse engineering while we reimagine and reinvent the toys with materials on hand.

Vermont Makers Toy Hacking Activity Sheet

Our Toy Hacking program is inspired by the work of TACO and Garnet Hertz, Learn More.


Toy hacking is a creative reverse engineering project – learn how something works by taking it apart – then make it new. This activity inspires experimentation and exploration. The workshop teaches Design Thinking – a creative process that can be taught and taps into an individual’s natural creativity. We can go through the stages of Discovery, Interpretation and Ideation in an afternoon.


Toy Hacking is….

• Thrifty – the activity uses electronic toys that are accessible to everyone and inexpensive

• Ecological, it’s an opportunity to recycle and up cycle parts that would otherwise end up in a landfill.

• Vermont-y because Vermonters are thrifty and ecologically minded!

• Fun, a refreshing way to explore technology and engineering.

• Reaches a broad audience, toys invite play immediately, in this case you get to play with the toy’s insides.



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Inspired by innovation, creativity + interdisciplinary education, we're artists + engineers. Our material is technology. Feeds managed by Jenn Karson.