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Woodwork In Pre-school


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I wonder if anyone can help. We are looking to incorporate woodwork in our Pre-School. Does anyone else do this. (we were only thinking small bits of wood and tap nails.

I am posting this as at our setting we are divided on whether or not it would be able to do.

Also has anyone any ideas where we cah get cheap or maybe free wood from.

Any advice would be appreciated .

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We are a small pre-school and have done this before, and are planning it again for after 1/2 term. Its great! You beg, steal (not really, unless its out of your husband's toolbox & shed) nails, hammers, screws and screwdrivers, and it was quite good to have a workbench too - again out our garage. For the wood, try asking around. We had several donations of the pine logs that christmas trees stand in which were ideal, flat, stable and soft enough to hammer into. The children were captivated when the spiders started crawling out of them too!

Be brave, start small and enjoy it, its fun! Don't forget to do a risk assessment and involve all your staff so everyone knows the importance of supervising the children closely, especially at the outset. We did buy a small fret saw and small hammer in the Pound shop which worked really well. In the end though the children preferred the big hammer as it was better at banging the nails in. A wooden mallet is really good for the little ones as they can't do too much damage with it. Have you tried using one with golf tees and a marrow or pumpkin?

Do a forum search, there was a good discussion about this some months ago.

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i haven't been brave enough to introduce hammers and nails at my setting yet but one of my fondest memories of being at pre school myself was woodwork, it became a bit of a joke as i would stand and hammer nails into the wood for ages, my mum has still got one of my creations :o i expect the others found thier way on to the fire when i wasn't looking!! xD i really must go for it next half term.

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Not done it at work but would do a risk assessment and then ask parents for help, you may have a DIY parent/carer willing to come in and help out.

 

we tend to opt for the pumpkin and golf tee method.

 

My son at 3 and 4 always in his Grandads shed, whith lots of bits and pieces a veritable treasure trove, he spent hours with hammers, saws, nails and made some really big creations , his favouirite was the vice to hold items in so they stayed still when sawing.

 

He was supervised by his grandad, but not overly closely and never had an injury .... dont know if that was just luck!

 

Inge

Edited by Inge
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We have a woodwork bench in our outdoor covered area. Parents and staff (usually the caretaker) give us wood, nails, screws etc. Wood is kept under the bench, tools on template on wall and screws, nails, bottle tops/lids in containers on bench.

Needs adult to role model and check on children working independantly. Does have risks-one child knicked her thumb with the saw this week.

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I ask at our local builders yard for any off cuts of wood and end with a boot full every time!!! it comes free of charge & I end up with loads of different shapes & sizes.

We use proper tools, not child sized these last longer & are made better, they are not expensive if you look in the cheap shops.

The children love it & it is a very busy area to begin with. Your confidence grows as the children get used to the tools. Parents worry about the dangers but with supervision & good ground rules set out at the start this activity is great.

You could start with a simple task such as sand paper to rub the wood with & observe the change & patterns appearing then gradually introduce other tools.

Go on be brave and have some fun!!

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:o Hello all! just managed to find time to look at forum for a few days. you know how it is kids,housework, New plannning!!!!!!!!!!!!! need I say more yes(husbands moaning you spend to much time on computer!!) anyway thanks for all your replies. I am going to go staight down to my local woodyard and do a bit of sweet talking. thanks again I think that I will give it a go as im sure the preschool will love it especially the boys who make a hammer out o anything available anyway.
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  • 1 year later...

Morning everyone...

I have just had an email from a worried parent who saw us using real hammers withour 3 and 4 year olds and she's asking we don't use them but replace them with plastic ones. This is our 3rd year of using them and we have had absolutely no icidents despite a very boisterous boy heavy year last year.

Does anyone have a direct link to an article highlighting the benefits of small children using real tools?

I'm still in the throes of report writing and want to be able to send her more than a 'don't worry we know what we're doing' type email but am very short on time.

any help appreciated as always!

Sam

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Tell her she's welcome to come and watch! I recommend it thoroughly! Mine are 'de'-structive rather than 'con'-structive, much preferring to saw up anything and everything from balsa to bits of trees we find in the wood to cardboard delivery boxes! We have 'knock and nail' (well called hammer and tap nowadays) that they play with, but for preference much prefer the saw. I'd stay start with just one junior hacksaw and one toffee hammer or small 'ladies' hammer whilst you observe them one on one.

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She was watching Cait, and has had another child come through last year. I was hoping someone might direct me towards a good article; my mind's virtually mush. We have 'ladies hammers' perfect size and they actually do the job and have had some great creations from our cohort this year; maybe she saw an over zealous child coupled with an anxious member of staff and is now concerned.

To be honest I'm surprised she didn't mention it at the time, especially as she was around for a good hour, although I suspect the playgroup leader may well have said to talk to me about it.

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Safe risk people, safe risk....

 

Woodwork ideas:

 

Tree stump bang nails into it and use things to nail in, eg leaves, tin foil, small bits of wood.

 

Glue guns---

 

Drills (old style look like an old whisk... abit...) can either use free hand or we also have a "stand " to support it.

 

Small screwdrivers and nails, give a small bore hole to start.

 

Safe risk...

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Morning everyone...

I have just had an email from a worried parent who saw us using real hammers withour 3 and 4 year olds and she's asking we don't use them but replace them with plastic ones. This is our 3rd year of using them and we have had absolutely no icidents despite a very boisterous boy heavy year last year.

Does anyone have a direct link to an article highlighting the benefits of small children using real tools?

I'm still in the throes of report writing and want to be able to send her more than a 'don't worry we know what we're doing' type email but am very short on time.

any help appreciated as always!

Sam

Found this it is American but has good relevant advice and ideas

Edited by Beau
Text removed - please refer to later links
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Hadn't seen you there Maz - thank you too!

I've just sent mum an email explaining how we do risk assessments/risk benefits, how we've had not one single incident in 4 years, how we have incidents with the lovely red and green brio hammers etc etc, but her little one is only 2 yrs 9 mths and probably looked very little next to our preschoolers.

I've said we'll put the hammers away for the 2 mornings he's there if she's so concerned.

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I've said we'll put the hammers away for the 2 mornings he's there if she's so concerned.

I wonder how the children will respond to this though - how frequently are the hammers used by the children in your setting? Hopefully she'll be reassured by your risk assessment and accident record. Do you find the very youngest children like to get involved, or is it mainly the older ones?

 

I've come away from the Communication Friendly Spaces conference last week very enthused about woodworking (and more especially how children can learn the skills and techniques safely in fun and unusual ways) and so I'm interested in how other settings do it.

 

Maz

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the hammers, nails and blocks of wood are in an outdoor box and are available almost all of the time; sometimes the children get them out daily, then they go through phases of not looking at them.

As wehave cuts of log as stepping stones which are now starting to fall apart, ie the bark has come away, the children have been very interested to see if they can nail it back on. And it's the children in the younger group who've become more engrossed - they're next terms preschoolers. The one who leads this type of play is very hands on and his mum's an artist and is over the moon we do this type of play.

The little boy who's mum is worried will be doing tuesday and wednesday mornings leaving plenty of time for the hammers to be out. I'll review it again as the term progresses.

i'm sure she'll come around; she's always been very reasonable in the past.

I also have a friend who is training in forest schools, coming into work with the children on mondays and fridays for the autumn term - she'll no doubt have something to support our real approach.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Not strictly woodwork - but to get the children started last year one member of staff used golf tees and hammered them into watermelons - kids loved it!

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