Wednesday, October 27, 2010

taking things apart

Taking things apart is just as much fun as building things.

Rather than toss this old wooden pallet, out came the hammers, saws and screwdrivers to take it apart.

My colleague had a core band of children who were thoroughly engaged for the better part of a morning busily deconstructing and chatting together companionably as they worked.

Exposing young children to using real tools with real materials for a real purpose can help to foster their creativity, imagination, problem solving, self worth and ability to assess risk.

While I admit that the sight of a 3 year old wielding a hammer still has the power to unsettle me, these little hands are capable hands.

The only thing banged, torn or scraped was the pallet.

Gever Tulley is spreading the message that children will be safer and more able to mitigate risk if they are given a chance to practice with slightly dangerous things - such as tools. 

By helping children experience the world in a hands-on way we lay the foundations of creativity and innovative thinking.

And end up with a handy box of firewood!


  1. there is always something fun going on in your yard :)

    i remember taking apart my dad's old radio when i was 6 or 7...such a good time!

  2. This is a great way to spend some time with children. My children and I do this sort of thing on a regular basis and have at least two extra neighborhood kids to help. We then use the material to build something else. Great post and great blog. I very much enjoy reading.

  3. Another brilliant post Mrs. Kable!!!
    Donna :) :)

  4. This is so wonderful to see, and so inspiring! Thank you for your fantastic blog, and all you clearly do with all your students! Please know teachers way way far away really appreciate it!

  5. I love seeing the kids wielding those dangerous tools! What a great learning experience.

  6. I happened to be sitting next to an emergency room nurse not too long ago (yes, it was in a bar -- my "girls" were on their own) and I decided to take advantage by asking him about injuries and tools.

    According to him, the number one cause for injury: saws with circular blades (table saws, skill saws, etc.). A close number two: nail guns. He said everything else is such a distant third that they weren't even worth mentioning. He'd never treated an injury from hand tools (other than box cutters) in nearly a decade on the job.

    He also said that every injury he'd ever seen came from someone misusing a tool. "Tool safety comes from using them properly." That's our new mantra at Woodland Park.

  7. Oh, how I love this blog! It's my new favorite.

  8. Thanks for the comments everyone - we really want to do more 'deconstructing' as the children were so engaged, and kept at using the tools for such long lengths of time. Interesting about the Dr's comments Tom - and even more interesting that you still have work on your brain whilst sitting in a bar ;)