14 November 2018

Carpentry is the type of activity that is espcially beneficial for children getting ready for school. When the workspace is left available for children they can engage in project-based activities that they can revisit over time to extend their own learning. This encourages planning, exploration, concentration, reflection, and evaluation, all of which are skills that are beneficial for school and ongoing lifelong learning.

With the right preparation and safety procedures, children in a homebased environment can safely participate in exploration and creativity using a variety of real tools. For example, a table set up with small hammers, nails, and plastic tops allows children to practice their hand-eye co-ordination and to explore real-life scenarios.

Creating a safe environment would include children and adults wearing covered shoes, having space to move around to use the tools, children being closely supervised by an adult who is ready to provide assistance as needed, and a small controlled number of tools and items available for exploration so that the space does not become overwhelming.

Additional resources and activities to support this learning may include a trip to the local library to source carpentry or building books, then going through the process of planning what to make and what may be needed. This encourages children to think about and participate in a process from start to end, making their own decisions, and learning about being adaptable to changes if, for example, materials may not be available and reconciling their expectations if the finished product is different to what may have been originally planned. This process provides children with the opportunities to think, make decisions, and builds confidence in their own ability. Also, valuable learning can occur with children just having fun and experimenting with hammering things into wood.