I’m pretty sure the thought of handing over a saw to your young child is enough to melt your innards, but kids love the opportunity to be involved with using real tools and building things!
Obviously, any time to you set out to introduce something like the topic of tools to kids, plenty of adult supervision and instruction are needed, but just like I mentioned in my Pint-Sized Chefs post, the benefits are plentiful if you just take a bit of time to teach them how to properly go about it!
Surprisingly, the toolbox can offer plenty of learning opportunities for young children.
Working with real tools has benefits beyond whatever creation is constructed. Here are a few.
You’d be hard-pressed to come up with a better practice for motor skills, whether it’s from simply sorting screws and nails or putting those hardware supplies to use with a hammer and screwdriver.
Physics concepts naturally abound when creating things in the workshop. Your kids might not realize it, but they’re learning all about forces and simple machines while tootling around with tools!
Any time you build something, you’ll be up to your eyeballs in math practice.
Whether it’s explaining what a 2×4 is or counting out how many nails you’ll need — or measuring (and measuring again – always measure twice!), your children will be forced to begin grasping an understanding of many math concepts in a real-life way.
And, as anyone who’s ever attempted to DIY anything around the house knows, projects like these are always filled with plenty of problem-solving opportunities.
Whether it’s how to connect two pieces of wood to each other without a bunch of ugly screws showing or trying to figure out how to proceed when the piece of wood that should have been 2 feet long ends up 4 inches short (measure twice, people, measure twice!), these conundrums will get your little ones’ brains working hard to figure out a solution.
When done safely, projects that involve tools help develop much-needed life skills.
Now, even though (hopefully) your anxiety level over introducing your youngsters to tools is decreasing a bit, you can’t just go handing your 3-year-old a bandsaw and expect good things to come of it.
No, as with most things, you need to go about this in a reasonable manner. Click on over to my If You Build it, They Will, Too post for steps you can take to do this and plenty of ideas for early projects your kids can get started with.
Most of all, keep in mind all the benefits that working with tools and building things provides kids.
As long as you approach tool time in a safe, controlled manner, you’ll have your own little Mr. & Miss Fix-it to rely on when issues crop up around the house!
Does the thought of letting your little ones use real tools set you on edge? I can’t wait to hear! Leave a comment below or email me at lisahealy (at) outlook (dot) com.