Kids Vs Technology: five mechanical mishaps

An Android robot that appears to have fallen over.

One of the things that has amazed me since becoming a parent is kids’ relationship with technology.

I shouldn’t be so surprised, of course. It’s part of the furniture to them, whereas a lot of what we take for granted these days wasn’t around when I was a child.

There’s also the fact that it’s a lot more reliable and intuitive these days.

But, as the Luddites of this world like to say, it isn’t all progress. A toddler accidentally locking his dad’s iPad for 48 years is a reminder that the aforementioned relationship is ‘complicated’.

Kids are basically like the fence-testing raptors in Jurassic Park. They’ll systematically look for weaknesses. And find them.

I love a good story about kids taking on technology, so here are five mechanical mishaps I’ve encountered thanks to my kids.

Vac to the Future

A few years ago, we got a robot vacuum cleaner. Three months later, we got LEGO Dimensions. These two acquisitions may seem entirely unrelated. Alas, not. For one of the characters in said game is Marty McFly. And, yes, he came with a hoverboard.

It didn’t take long for the then three-year-old to repurpose the robot as a futuristic skateboard. And, in case you were wondering, this sorry debacle took place in 2015. I kid you not.

Not-so-smart speaker

Smart speakers are brilliant innovations and I use my Google Home Mini every day. It’s great for playing music, checking the weather forecast and calculating sums as I’m crap with numbers.

But there are downsides. We also have a Google Home speaker in the kitchen and the two devices can be used to send voice messages. So I’m often interrupted by burps. Charming.


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Glad to see that the boys have been using their teeth brushing app properly…

A post shared by Tom Briggs (@diaryofthedad) on

Ain’t that the tooth

The toothbrushing app that my sons use has revolutionised the way they clean their teeth. It’s a fantastic idea and I’m confident it will save us a fortune at the dentist in years to come.

But why does it have the facility to let children rename the pictures that their brushing motion has coloured in? My iPad is now full of images of puerilely-named cartoon characters.

Got your number

Speaking of the same app, the seven-year-old recently found a way of annoying his brother. He found out the PIN for my iPad and, once he had done his teeth, logged out then deliberately entered the wrong code several times.

This caused a ten-minute lockout. He meant it too. Not huge in the grand scheme of things, but his brother was livid. We’ve changed the PIN now…

Occasional cupboards

We’ve all heard of occasional tables, but what about occasional cupboards? Our house is on the market at the moment and I’ve been known to hastily hide clutter in the dishwasher for short-notice viewings.

Going back a few years, one of the boys did likewise. With the dispenser drawer of the washing machine. I always like to find positives, so it was nice that the floor was treated to a wash and that I learned to repair said appliance as a result.

Have your kids caused any mechanical mishaps?


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