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Woodworking With Children

Woodworking. Just the mere word strikes fear in the heart of many of the most competent of caregivers, and conjures up images of a child approaching us, crying, with a bleeding finger, or a child hitting another in the head with a hammer.

Children can be taught to utilize the woodworking area appropriately and learn to respect tools – just as in any other area in the classroom. For children ages 4 years and older, the benefits and the learning associated with this activity far outweigh the potential for problems, if implemented and supervised correctly…

Woodworking Benefits & Skill-building

Remember – Safety First!

Other Ideas

For Variety, Add

I am learning!

When I am at the workbench, I feel very grown up! I feel trusted. I am learning how to create something I have visualized in my head. When I work with a friend I have to cooperate and explain my ideas and plans. I am working on my fine motor skills and eye-hand coordination. I have to use math skills, such as shape, size, contrast, comparing, spatial relationships and problem-solving. I also get to be creative and use my imagination!

7 Developmental Stages of Children’s Woodworking

Cited in Adams and Taylor, 1982
  1. Acquaintance with tools and wood
  2. Simple skill attempts
  3. Simple construction
  4. Refinement
  5. Functional construction
  6. Decorative combinations
  7. Emergence of craft

Construction Related Fingerplays

Johnny's Hammers -- Tune: "Mary Had a Little Lamb"

Johnny had 1 hammer, 1 hammer, 1 hammer (Make hammering motion with 1 fists)
Johnny had 1 hammer, then he had 2

Johnny had 2 hammers, 2 hammers, 2 hammers, (Make hammering motion with both fists)
Johnny had 2 hammers, then he had 3.

Johnny had 3 hammers, 3 hammers, 3 hammers, (Make motion with both fists and one leg.)
Johnny had 3 hammers then he had 4.

Johnny had 4 hammers, 4 hammers, 4 hammers, (Make motion with both fists and both legs)
Johnny had 4 hammers then he had 5.

Johnny had 5 hammers, 5 hammers, 5 hammers (Make motion with both fists and both legs and head.)
Johnny had 5 hammers, then he went to sleep! (lay hands like sleeping)

Construction Worker Song

This is the way we pound our nails,
pound our nails, pound our nails,
This is the way we pound our nails, so early in the morning.
This is the way we saw our wood,
Saw our wood, saw our wood.
This is the way we saw our wood, so early in the morning.
This is the way we use a screwdriver,
use a screwdriver, use a screwdriver,
This is the way we use a screwdriver, so early in the morning.
This is the way we drill a hole,
drill a hole, drill a hole,
This is the way we drill a hole, so early in the morning.

Addition Verses: Saw The Wood, Turn the Screw, Stack the Bricks, Paint the walls, Stir the paint

Copyright 2005 ~Cathy Abraham