Monday, June 27, 2011

Pre-schoolers enjoy a woodworking experience.

Last week I had the pleasure of conducting a woodworking activity at All Saints College, at Bull Creek here in suburban Perth, Western Australia. I had two groups of 24 pre-school children, each for an hour. For this activity, it was an opportunity for free creative play. I supplied a great heap of low kid-sized benches (enough for 24 children), two dozen hammers, a range of nails on each bench, and a huge pile of timber pieces for the kids to use. It helps to have the right kind and size of hammers. I have a post about hammers for kids on my other blog, which may be helpful to some readers wanting to encourage kids to get woodworking.

The timber pieces I supply for these activities I bring pre-cut into smaller pieces of a wide range of sizes and shapes, made up mostly of pieces of pine, plywood, thin MDF and some dowelling. This is the resource the kids use to create their amazing objects. I also have a separate "sawing station" set up, where kids can use saws to cut pieces to their required length. I keep the sawing station separate from the benches with kids this age, as it is easier to supervise. Some kids just love using the saws, and will happily spend their time sawing up pieces of timber! Again, my other blog has a post offering info about kids using saws. The hand drill also came out. Drilling is also done under supervision, and some kids just love it. If you need more info about kids drilling, you may like to check my post on the matter.

One of the classes of pre-schoolers, with their wonderful creations.
 Pre-schoolers are the perfect age to commence learning basic woodworking skills. Great for building confidence, hand-to-eye co-ordination, problem solving skills, spacial relations, and so much more.
Free creative play with pieces of wood and appropriate tools offers an opportunity for kids to start to learn some basic tool use while letting their imagination free to make their own toys and mementos.

Special thanks to the great staff and parent helpers who assisted me on the day, and thereby increased the value of the activity for the children participating.  The kids sure had a great time.

...This stuff is really all about developing life skills, isn't it? Now there's an investment in the future!

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