Woodworking in ECD

March 21, 2017

Introducing Woodworking to the Pre-K CurriculumWhen people think of woodworking in a preschool classroom, their reaction is usually one of surprise, concern, and even horror.  Real tools in the hands of three, four and five year olds?!  In the early childhood community, woodworking is recognized as a highly valuable activity for developing skills across many developmental domains, including many STEM skills.  It’s a perfect activity for young children who learn best when they’re able to manipulate materials and repeatedly practice the same skills.  Using tools with wood is a challenging and satisfying experience that helps children develop fine-motor control and hand-eye coordination while productively focusing their energy.  Through woodworking children develop confidence and learn to work safely and cooperatively with their peers.    

During the past couple weeks, the English teachers have been launching woodworking in their classes.  They started by reading books about tools and introduced children to the hammer.  Children need time to familiarize themselves with the materials and technique of hammering, and it’s not uncommon for a child to spend 20-30 minutes hammering 1 or 2 nails. We saw many children collapsing with exhaustion after their first session of hammering.  As children move through the exploration stage, they will eventually become interested in combining pieces of wood to make things.

Over time the teachers will introduce new tools and materials and will work with children to plan more elaborate projects.  However, at this early stage, teachers are focused on helping children develop their hand strength, concentration, and attention to safety.  We look forward to sharing more updates about woodworking as children become more engaged in this rich activity.  

If there are any parents in our community who enjoy woodworking and would be interested in helping out with this endeavor, we would love to hear from you!  

For more information about the value of woodworking, please read this article.