Hammer, saw, nails….. Painfully, you may be thinking of a crying child with a hammered finger or how one child hurt himself by accidentally dropping a tool on his foot.
I’m an Asian teacher, when I walked to preschool centres in New Zealand for the first time and saw the carpentry area, I walked in with fears, questions and concerns. After watching the children explore and observing them developing skills, my fears were eventually eliminated.
Carpentry play and activities can offer rich, diverse and exciting opportunities for skill development for young children.
It is not about how pretty or how perfect a child can make their unique creation. The process, not the product is more important. It is about learning how to handle tools properly, hand/eye coordination, problem-solving, sharing, exchanging ideas, cooperating, socializing and sense of pride and achievement.
Would you rather allow your child to explore in the carpentry area or would you rather not to?
What’s your choice? I wonder.
Why Carpentry is important in Early Childhood
Carpentry is an activity that gives children an opportunity to build what they are interested in and, in doing so, develop and practise a wide range of skills.
Carpentry helps children to:
- Gain increasing control over their bodies through development of hand-eye coordination, manipulative skills and muscular strength
- Analyse, evaluate and apply solutions to problems and to develop their understanding of technology
- Develop mathematical and scientific skills, e.g. understanding of length, size, balance, and force. Children learn to observe, predict and experiment
- Express their creativity in a three-dimensional way
- Learn to share and cooperate as they work together with the materials.
Carpentry also increases children’s language development skills as they learn names for the tools and the processes. Creative expression allows children to design, think of, and follow a task through to completion, giving them a sense of pride and achievement through Autonomy and self-esteem.
Carpentry intertwines with Te Whariki, our Early childhood Curriculum.
Carpentry in many ways intertwines with Te Whariki, our Early Childhood curriculum. For example…
Strand 2: Belonging: Goal 4: Children know the limits and boundaries of acceptable behaviour
Strand 3: Contribution: Goal 1: There are equitable opportunities for learning, irrespective of gender, ability, age, ethnicity or background
Strand 4: Communication: Goal 4: Children discover and develop different ways to be creative and expressive
Strand 5: Exploration: Goal 1: Their play is valued as meaningful learning and the importance of play is recognised. Goal 2: They gain confidence in, and control of their bodies.
All of the above examples demonstrate valuable life-long skills your children develop through carpentry.
Have you had the opportunity to see our wonderful carpentry display in the foyer here at the Play to Learn Early Learning Centre
Here we have just some of the many wonderful creations our children have made at the carpentry table. The sense of pride the children have when they see their work displayed here is amazing!!
Can you help our Childcare Centre at Te Rapa Hamilton? The children are all carpentry crazy and if you happen to have any resources lying around at home, such as wood, cardboard, or even plastic bottle tops, we would love to take them off your hands and they would all be put to great use!
Also if you have any stories about carpentry experiences at your home, we would absolutely love to hear them, you can either share with one of our friendly staff, or write it on a Whanau voice form, available where you sign your children in.
I hope this has helped your understanding of carpentry.