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Tapestry

Builder's Yard - Imaginative Play


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I have set up a builder's yard in outdoor area. I have an outdoor sand pit, workbench, toy tools, tool boxes, hard hats, some clothing, large community bricks, office area (telephone, keyboard, mark-marking), an area with table and chairs, cups, teapot, newspapers, clipboards. Also have a few fiction and non-fiction books. Photographs of building sites, signs from building sites. The area appears a bit flat though, (after interest for first few days) most children choosing to ride trikes or climb large climbing frame. Any suggestions? The children are aged between 2 and 4. I am planning a visit to a local building site with the children to take photographs etc.

I will have real bricks and wet sand for building, as a focused activity and I know this should capture their imagination. Would like a pulley for lifting sand (above the sand pit). Any ideas about how to do this? Never used pulleys before.

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Don't know much about pulleys but I notice you list "toy tools". We use real tools in our preschool ( same age group as yours). Hammer and nails, screws and screwdrivers ( philips and normal), pincers, pliers and small saws. The children really concentrate and are motivated to spend ages developing their skills in using these. They love to hammer in nails then pull them out again. We use rubber mats under the wood which stops the wood slipping while worked with and reduces the noise. It's amazing the variety of nails and tacks you can get at B&Q.

 

Obviously requires supervision but is worth it. I haven't had any injuries yet, and I reassure parents by stating that their child won't cut their fingers off with the saw, they normally stop the sawing motion before reaching the bone :oxD.

 

I also ask them to think back to their childhood, Dad or grandads workshop ( even DIY mums) or the allotment with scythes, shears etc Did they ever get hurt? but what enjoyment they had.

 

 

Peggy

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Thanks. I will give them the real tools for hammering nails etc. Hadn't thought of using real saws for sawing wood. Do you mean hacksaws and doweling rods or bigger saws and wood. I must admit that idea does scare me a little because I've never tried it with this age group before. I will have to write a new risk assessment for that. Will let you know how I get on and what the children do.

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We don't use hacksaws, the blades are too flimsy. I don't know what our saws are called but they are like a big saw, but shorter, rectangle shape without the pointy end ( sorry brain is definately not in gear yet).

We use all types of wood, for example on Friday we sawed an old piece of log which was covered in woodworm holes to see if we could find any in the centre. There was lots of problem solving whether to saw the width of the log or do it along the whole length ( we did the length). We discovered that the inside of the log was not "dead" like the outside, then we used sandpaper to smooth the inside edges we had just sawed. A project that engaged the childrens attention for over an hour. :D

 

Peggy

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I think it's called a tenon saw Peggy - not absolutely sure.

We have used real tools for woodwork as well (don't do it as often as I would like though) I think one of the reasons is that it's quite noisy and we are in one large hall. The idea of putting a rubber mat underneath will help - thanks Peggy.

 

Sue J

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A bucket full of water and an assortment of large paintbrushes/rollers (the ones we use for decorating) - this is a great activity - can get a little wet but I have found the children will literally "paint" anything. Had 4 boys painting the railings, the walls - colours can be added by adding paint if you like and have the facilities for a good wash down afterwards.

Nikki

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  • 2 weeks later...

We use real tools, and have tool blocks. Blocks of wood with phillips and flat head screws in different sizes. The children then get a choice of screwdrivers and they have to match the screwdriver with the correct head and size screw.

The children have hours of fun.

We also do the smae with locks. A long peice of wood with latches that you would use a padlock for (can't think what they are called) and various size padlocks both key and combiation. Make sure the keys are different sizes as well eg- big padlock, big key, small padlock small key etc.

Again the children spend ages at this.

net x

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I wish Nicola, she is my level 2 trainee ( off sick at the moment xD ) and she's half my age :o , I'll stay incognito for a while until I find a flattering pic of me, I also tend to be the one always behind the camera. :D

 

Peggy

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I'm pretty sure you did post one with you in a while ago Peggy. Making funny faces with a child or something?? :D I certainly have a very clear image in my head about what you look like this and I'm sure I didn't dream it. :o

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