Saturday, October 2, 2010

messing around with wood

Is it a little bit sad to get excited about a new donation of wood offcuts?  

It is, isn't it.

As much as I'd love a permanent 'tinkering station' a la Teacher Tom where the option of creating with wood and tools was available to children everyday we just don't have enough adult bodies to go around to make this a reality.

But just because tools aren't always an option doesn't mean that children have to miss out on creating with wood.  

Wood off cuts work perfectly at the collage table:

Team with any interesting bits and pieces you have lying around:

And see what the kids come up with:

Or simply offering wood and glue:

can have the kids solving problems and exploring concepts such as symmetry, shape, measurement and pattern making as they create:  

Locating the wood table next to the painting area can add an extra element to the play.

I'm a big believer in giving children access to a wide variety of materials that support them in the creative process of making 'cool stuff'.  

No preconceptions, no set way to begin and no set way to end.  Wood is the perfect material to add to the mix. 

(And I'm still dream of a tinkering area.)


  1. I love the idea of a "tinkering center" that would be so cool! My husband owns a construction company so no shortage of wood scraps around here:)

  2. I love to see what kids will do with random "stuff." Looks like the wood was a lot of fun.

  3. I dream of a permanent tinkering woodworking area too. But we have a lack of space and adults too. At least we have an innovation station... (which is really just a shelf full of loose parts to explore with.

  4. I guess the trick is to start small. Take a big stump (indoors or out) and put some wood and other things to hammer into it beside it. But have just one hammer available so you can supervise on an "as and when" basis - or get a parent volunteer for a hammering session. I think Tom would agree with me when I suggest that the children are shown how but should always hold their own wood (so they don't clobber your hand with a hammer either). Over time, as your own and the children's skills and confidence grown, then more tools and variety can be introduced.

  5. Don't worry Jenny Sherry and I get excited about donated wood too ... but you're right it IS totally sad :) Reverse art is our regular hunting ground for wood but sometimes they don't have any either! Today however I'm pleased to say they did. Colin tells me the scraps I picked up are picture frame off cuts which unbeknown to me when I stuffed them into my bag actually slot together at right angles so I'm looking forward to seeing what the children do with them when we return to kinder this week ... I'll let you know!
    Donna :) :)

  6. You're not the only one who gets excited about scrap wood.

    I should mention that, so far, our tinkering with hammers and nails has resulted in little more than two pieces of wood nailed together, except in the case of building little boxes last week, and that required a lot of prep work on my part. They get a lot more done with glue guns!

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