My husband and I don't always have the patience to have Aidan involved in a project, but most of the time he's included in some way. It's great quality time together, he learns something new, and he enjoys "owning" a part in making or helping with something.
Our latest project involved building a large shelving unit for Aidan's room to create more space for play. The shelf was purchased at IKEA. IKEA provides especially easy directions to follow, even for a child, because it's all pictures! Aidan had the chance to use the hammer, wooden dowels, screws, and an allen wrench. I could tell it was very important to him to be a part of this project, it would be in his room, holding his toys.
For a child, being involved in a process that uses tools, like building, cooking, or fixing, has many other hidden benefits...
- It builds confidence in knowing how to do something (like using a screwdriver properly).
- It teaches how to use household tools safely.
- They learn the importance of trying something new.
- It's another chance to practice fine and gross motor skills.
- There's plenty of math and literacy hidden right under their noses (counting parts, following directions).
- They become more aware of how to care for things so they last longer, or will be more willing to try new things. This is because they helped play a part in making it, the "owning" of the process (Aidan is more willing to try a new food when he helps prepare it).
What tools have your children learned to use? Would you add anything else to this list of benefits?
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