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So, I've just discovered the woodwork bench, in full working order, buried beneath a pile of junk, along with some tools, and i think we even have wood!!!

BUT, I have to admit to not having done woodwork with nursery before so...what can I do?

Brilliant but simple ideas please......... :o

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Have you got any vices? (As soon as I wrote that I started laughing.....) It's an important question, because that influences whether or not you can do sawing up-type things, as opposed to banging in nails-type things :o I've used bench hooks before, but they can slip.

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We have done wood work in reception.

 

We use balsa wood as it it is easy to cut and pva sticks it together. We used it to make wooden huts as part of an art projects. The children chose a junk modelling box and then measured and cut the wood to stick on the box to make it look like a house. We have also used it for building bridges... did some problem solving... How could we get from one side of the river to the other? and then let the children have a selection of junk modelling materials, balsa wood and construction.

We also used the balsa wood for making ramps for our toy cars and seeing how to make them go further.

 

 

The cutting is the tricky bit as we don't have vices only table blocks and you need one- to one to cut safely.

 

But the children enjoyed it.

Hope this helps

Lorna

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Thanks, Im obviously not quite as mad as my colleagues think then.

Helen, yes I have plenty (vices that is) :o (please can I mention the looming full mooon now pleaseeese)..

But seriously, we do have 2 working vices, one on each side of the bench.

 

Thanks Lorna, I think we have balsa wood , and I do like the bridge idea.

 

Susan, Id never had access to one either, its quite amazing what we found in this black hole of ours, and my colleague wanted to throw it away!!!

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I used to teach the children how to use the tools properly in nursery, and then allow them fairly free use. New parents used to sometimes worry about it, but honestly, we never once had an accident, other than the occasional knocked finger, but nothing to even mark the child. Cutting is more difficult, I used to make sure that pieces were already manageable sizes unless I was able to have an adult to help the children cut - an activity all on its own.

 

I just bought my preschoolers a woodwork kit and am amazed how well they are able to use it. My husband was almost having heart attacks about it, but he soon realised how capable children are if you allow them to be. I'd really like a bench for them to work at properly though, hmm, needs to go on my never-ending shopping list! :D

 

One thing I think is important is to allow them fairly free rein to make their own designs and dont over organise them, otherwise they think that there is only one 'right' way to make things, and get too dependent on adult guidance. Just two pieces of wood nailed together can be any number of things to a preschooler with imagination! :o

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Really interested to read this - I work in an Infant school and despite offering to do a risk assessment for woodwork with my reception class I was shouted down and Health and Safety regs were poured upon my head from a great height!!! Am trying to find out exactly what Ican and can't use from the LEA but the process is slow - any ideas? By the way, the reason I wanted to do woodwork was to build a wagon for a dragon (See Lynley Dodd's excellent book A Dragon in A Wagon) which we used for Literacy.

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  • 1 month later...

Hi all,

 

I know this is old stuff now, but just wanted to add my two pennorth - have always encouraged the children to use 'real' tools and equipment. If you model appropriately and monitor as necessary there shouldn't really be too many concerns. Obviously, I would not allow it without adult presence !! :o

 

'Toy' tools and such equipment don't have quite the same value for children's learning in this field, I've always felt, and think of the confidence boost of using real equipment to make something.

 

Thanks for listening

 

Sue :D

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