Wednesday, September 12, 2012

The Benefits of Toolin' Around

Eager is how I would describe Aidan when there is a special project going on in our house.  Eager to help, eager to learn, eager to just be involved with what ever is going on.  He's scraped and pulled up chunks of laminate when we replaced our kitchen floor, raked up leaves, wielded whisks and spoons for meal prep, and tightened nuts on the training wheels of his bike.  If it involves some sort of tool, he's usually interested.

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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  1. What a wonderful learning experience! My husband had JDaniel help too. I think he will remember being dad's helper even when he get older.

  2. My son loves to help, as soon as he thinks someone is doing a project out comes his hard hat and tool belt. He even mows the lawn with dad with his bubble mower. We also use it as a chance to talk about team work, safety and cleaning up our tools. Not to mention how freaking cute it is.
    In the kitchen he has his own cutting board and a plastic lettuce knife for prepping salads.
    He is almost 3 by the way.

    1. I love reading this! Your son is the perfect example of how confident and able young children can be when they are given the chance to use tools. Thank you for sharing, and is "freaking cute" too!

  3. Brilliant getting everyone involved.

    Thanks for linking to the SundaynSowcase.


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