8 Ways to Play with an Old Keyboard

We love figuring out ways to play with something that people throw out.  Dumpster diving for toys, so to speak.  One of the best recent finds was an old keyboard.  There were so many different ways to play with it.  Here are 8 to get you started :)  This post contains affiliate links.

An old recycled keyboard gives kids tons of ways to play and learn. STEM learning made fun.


Be sure to disconnect the power supply to the keyboard for at least 24 hours before using the keyboard for play or to take it apart.  This lets any residual energy drain out.  Also be sure to wash hands after using the parts as keyboards can be pretty dirty.

Pretend Keyboard Play

Before you do anything else with your old keyboard, leave it lying around for a few days.  Before you know it, there will be important office work, serious meetings, letters to Grandma (and Santa!) completed in the play room. Keyboards are one of the greatest pretend play props because our kids love to imitate us :)

Take it Apart

Once pretend play with the keyboard has gotten old, it’s time to take it apart.  The insides of a keyboard are really cool with different patterns and textures that can be used for so many different projects.  Get out a screwdriver, magnetic ones work best {affiliate} and open up the back.  Then start peeling away the pieces.

Feeling Keyboard Pad LBCB

Develop Fine Motor Skills

Keyboards are amazing things to develop the hands.  When you pop the keys out with a screwdriver, it takes practice holding the screwdriver just so and adjusting to remove keys that are stuck.  Plus it’s so fun to make them fly! My daughter can pop keys forever!  We actually do key popping sessions and then replace the keys so she can do it all over again.  I recommend safety glasses for this one because the keys pop pretty far.

Popping Keys Left Brain Craft Brain

Trace the Circuits

One of the coolest parts of a keyboard are the circuits.  They don’t look like a standard circuit board, instead they are thin film circuits printed onto sheets of plastic.  These circuit patterns make great coloring pages.  Use dry erase crayons or markers {affiliate} and they’l be reusable over and over again.

Circuits and Crayons LBCB

Coloring Circuits LBCB

Make a Mandala

We used the keys and some circuit board parts to make mandalas.  Click on through to the post for the how to or watch the video.

Use Them as Spray Paint Stencils

The sheet of plastic between the thin film circuit and the rubber key pad is full of holes.  It makes a really fun stencil with homemade spray paint.  Grab a squirt bottle, some tempera or liquid water color paint and mix with some water.  Place the stencil, along with some keys, onto a large sheet of paper and spray away.

Keyboard Spray Painting LBCB

Make a Play Dough Robot

We like to combine play dough with anything, but these keyboard and circuit board parts made for some really fun Play Dough Robots.  Click on over for the cool metallic play dough recipe.

Robot Play Left Brain Craft Brain

Keyboard Stamps

The rubber pad that goes underneath the keys is a really cool pattern with a squishy feel.  My daughter wanted to dip them in the leftover paint from the stencil project and print them on paper.

Keyboard Stamping LBCB

Another STEAM Play Idea

Just like a good play dough recipe, we’re always looking for a fun way to combine art with science, technology, engineering & math to make STEAM.  I love this Mondrian Math Art from Mini Monets and Mommies.  It’s inspired by Piet Mondrian’s Trees painting.

art-math adj

Love to Learn Linky

Love to Learn Linky

Thanks for stopping by for this week’s Love to Learn Linky.  Be sure to stop by my co-hosts’ pages to see these other fun activities.

12 Ways to Learn with Food || Totschooling

30+ Fun Ways to Paint with Kids || A Little Pinch of Perfect

The Love to Learn Linky is hosted by:

And now it’s time for the links!

6 thoughts on “8 Ways to Play with an Old Keyboard”

  1. Your daughter looks like she’s having so much fun with this activity Anne! We’re going to have to go dumpster diving (or maybe call Grandpa for an old keyboard!) Thanks for the inspiration! The coloring page idea is SO cool!

    1. leftbraincraftbrain

      Thanks Sue! Calling Grandpa sounds like a good plan. I recommend gloves, not just for the icky but for printer ink that might have spilled. (If only I could post a pic of my hands in the comments!)

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