Start With Simple – Build With Me
Start With Simple

Start With Simple

Start With Simple

Don’t underestimate the joy and learning that comes with practicing simple building skills. Yes, it may seem that it’s important that children create something recognisable, or their ideas come to life in wood form, but basic skills are important first.

🔨Hammering nails in then pulling them out 🔨 👷👷‍♀️

Start by clamping a piece of wood to the workbench and making the goal of the building session to just hammer nails into that piece of wood. Extend this by teaching children how to pull nails out with a pry bar or nail puller. Show each child how to grip the nail with the pliers and hammer the nail in. Start supporting initially then stand back while they try without help. Do the same to show the correct and safe use of the prybar to practice pulling nails out of the wood. Place the curved end of the prybar under the nail head and firmly push the straight end of the prybar away as the nail comes out of the wood.

Children will spend a long time hammering in nails and pulling them out again as they hone their skills.

Children really love the simplicity and success of this activity and gain foundational building skills quickly with less pressure.

Teaching building skills then allowing time for lots of practice is vital to children's success.

Story - 

During a preschool carpentry session, a new child wanted to give carpentry a go for the first time. He watched some of the more experienced children building for a while and got very excited when it was his turn. He chose a piece of wood, put his earmuffs on and a teacher showed him how to hold the hammer. With help to hold the nail steady to start it he gave hammering a go for the first time. After hitting the nail half, a dozen times the smile on his face was priceless. A new skill was successfully learned, and he was so proud of his simple build - piece of wood with a nail in it. He painted it with dye and was super happy with his effort and so animated when he showed his mum what he had made at the end of the day.

We recommend having children wear a safety vests and glasses when building. Safety glasses protect eyes from objects that may flick up when building. Safety vests make it easy to identify children who are actively building and allows effective supervision for teachers. Have children remove glasses and vests to show they have finished building.

Essential tools: