Yes! Woodworking is a wonderful learning activity that supports whole-child development.
Here are some of the many benefits that woodworking provides:
- Cognitive/Intellectual: a whole brain activity that provides young children with STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, Math) resources and the means to become makers, tinkerers, and engineers through mathematical thinking, creativity, problem solving skills, and fostering imagination.
- Social/Emotional: Sense of satisfaction, accomplishment, competence, responsibility, respect for self and others, respect for materials and safety. Builds children's self-image, self-esteem, self-confidence and self-sufficiency.
- Physical: Gross motor strength, eye-hand coordination, and fine motor control.
- Sensory: Stimulates the senses with the smell and feel of the wood, the dusty friction of sanding something smooth, the contrast of warm wood and cold metal, and provides proprioceptive input to the muscles and joints.
Last month the children were delighted as we introduced them to some basic woodworking skills through hammering pumpkins and pecans, sanding wood, and using wood glue to create unique sculptures in our unit block on trees. Their enthusiasm inspired us to go more deeply into the woodworking process . This is an excellent example of how a natural curriculum emerges in response to the children's interests.
To make our geoboards we used a ruler to measure out the space we wanted our nails to be, made dots, and hammered our nails on top of the dots. Then simply added rubber bands to make shapes.
How to use a hammer safely:
- Hold the hammer firmly on the lower part of the handle.
- Hold the nail towards the top of the nail to avoid hitting your thumb.
The claw of the hammer is used to remove unwanted nails.
This is a clamp. The clamp holds the wood safely so it doesn't move when we hammer, saw, or drill. To use the clamp screw the handle until the wood is tight.
This is a hand drill. Hand drills are much more safe than electric drills as they move a lot slower but they are still very effective tools and they still require safety precautions.
How to use a drill safely:
- a drill is like a little spinning knife and it's purpose is to drill holes through materials
- always wear safety glasses
- always use 2 hands on the drill
- hold drill straight
- press lightly, let the drill bit do the work
This is an awl. Awls are used to make starter holes so it's easier to drill. We also used the awl to make holes for our sails. The awl has a sharp point so use awls carefully and be aware of the point.
"My boat floats!"
This is a saw. A saw cuts wood. A saw has a handle and a blade with teeth. To use a saw safely:
- Only hold the handle, the blade and the teeth are sharp.
- Use a clamp or a vice to secure the wood.
- Make sure your saw is sharp and clean.
- Make a guide line on the wood so you know exactly where your cut will be made.
- Wear safety glasses.
- Start sawing slowly. Apply pressure to the saw as you push downward on the cut, but release pressure as you pull the saw back toward yourself. Find your rhythm. Getting into a steady rhythm as you saw will help you slice through the materials.
While the older children measured out an arm's length of yarn, the younger kids enjoyed practicing their cutting skills.
It is used to make straight guide lines on wood for cutting.
MAY WE KNOW THEM.
MAY WE BE THEM.
MAY WE RAISE THEM.
- Hold the knife in one hand and the wood in the other.
- Make sweeping cuts away from your body, along the grain of the wood.
- Lead the knife slightly sideways to give the best cutting technique.
"I made an iguanodon tooth!"
"I made a birdie!"
Over the winter break we hope to transform our historic outdoor building (built in 1895!) into an awesome and inspirational Maker Space Tinkering Shed for the kids. Please contribute to our GoFundMe page:
Or donate directly toward the following items:
Child sized work bench (like this one from Community Playthings)
2 sturdy worktables with adjustable legs for different aged groups (like these!)
3-D lazer printer
Free standing stainless steel sink
Small pottery wheel
Wood storage shelves
Wall tool storage system
"I did it!"
Turkey Tails for Turkey Tag
The Thankful Pumpkin
I bow to mother earth
I lift to father sky
I open to the sun
and the clouds floating by
I welcome the rain
that flows to the sea
I honor the kindness
and in me!
- Hold your arms out straight with the backs of your hands facing each other
- Clasp your hands together and bring them towards you
- Nuzzle your hands against your chest and take a deep breath
Healthy Snacks and Lunches!
Check out our previous blog Amazing Garden Carrot Cake for one of our fave recipes!