Sunday, May 30, 2010

Making Memories Monday & Montessori Monday: Real Tools Please, Mommy!

Peanut Butter Cup Time...
A Memory and a Montessori Tie  - In:

As a child, I was never into using tools all that much.
In fact, as a Brownie and then, during my very brief stint as a Girl Scout, I never tried to go for the badges that involved using anything related to woodworking  or construction.
Cannot recall ever using a hammer, wrench, saw, or drill as a child.
In this photo, Left to right...
One of my brothers (Jim), me, my sister (Jennifer), my dad and my mom.

To the best of my knowledge, my sister, Jenn, also did not get into any of these kinds of projects either, as woodworking and building things were not things that girls we knew spent their time doing...we tended to play with dolls, play house, do arts and crafts, and help bake with my mom.

However, woodworking and construction projects were plentiful for my brothers...

Some of my brothers really enjoyed using hand tools for various projects, especially my brother, Kevin. He is one of four of my a small child, he was and now today, he still is the most handy of all six of us. 
In this photo: My brother, Kevin.
Here, he is digging a hole at the beach and having fun playing in it.

Kevin has loved to work with tools from the time he was very little.
He also has loved to take things apart.
One day, when Kevin was supposed to be napping, he got up and took the intercom system that was in his bedroom apart, luckily without shocking himself!
This was a pretty big deal, as it was an intercom system that ran throughout our entire home.
Try as my dad did to find someone to fix it, I am not sure if it ever worked as well as prior to being tinkered with by Kevin.

Below is a nice, child sized set of real tools in a toolbox.  It is more colorful, more child sized, and more up-to-date than what my brother had, but it gives you the idea of what he always wanted for his birthday or for Christmas...
This particular set is available through Constructive Playthings...

Child-Sized Real Tools
Kevin loved to build things, whether it was a Pinewood Derby car, a birdhouse, or a playhouse.
From the very beginning of his fascination with using tools and either building things or taking them apart, he never wanted plastic play tools.When Christmas time would roll around, he would ask for real tools and real toolboxes instead of toys.
Sometimes, friends and family agreed and got him the real tools and other times, he would get play sets from various well-intended friends and family who knew that he loved to work with tools. 

Flash forward to 2003, when Dear Hubby and I found out that we were expecting...
We called our friends and family to tell them our exciting news. 
One of the first things that my brother, Kevin, mentioned to me, along with his words of congrats, was that to "please be sure to buy your son-to-be real tools instead of plastic ones."
He explained that real tools are so much better to use.

For Big Bro's second Christmas present, he got an awesome present...a real child sized wooden work bench complete with child sized tools. He loved it!
 Big Bro used it and even made a little birdhouse with the kit.
He thoroughly enjoyed using his tools in his workbench.

When we moved to Florida, the family who we purchased our home from had a son just a bit older than Little Bro. They mentioned to us that their son had outgrown his super deluxe workbench and tools. They very graciously left it in what was to become Little Bro's closet for us, as they thought that we could use it.

So, we donated the wooden one that we had had in Virginia and were happy that not only would it be less to pack up for Florida, but that there would be a newer, bigger, better one waiting in its place at our new home.

So, when we arrived and started to unpack our things in our new home, we took the boys in to see the nice "gifts" that the family had left for us.
We opened the closet was bigger and more super deluxe than what we had in Virginia, only one problem...all of the tools were oversized, big chunky plastic ones.

Well, it has sat in Little Bro's closet, more or less untouched since we moved really is a "cute looking" set, just not a functional, fully working one.

Occasionally, he will go in and play in his closet and does something with the tools more as noise makers or as a part of a costume he is putting together for himself...but they are not working tools.

Luckily, the bench itself has some good use left in it...all we have to do is to swap out the plastic play tools and replace them with some nice, child sized real tools.

Montessori tie - in:
Dr. Maria Montessori was very much in favor of having children use real life, child sized tools instead of big, plastic play ones. In addition to using real child sized tools to do woodworking or other handy sorts of projects as part of practical life, children can also use the tools for sorting, classifying, and language works.

Nataša over at Leptir has different sized wrenches with a control of error chart for her children to sort by size.

Jenn from Never Just a Housewife posted a message to a Yahoo Workbox group about using nuts and bolts as a combination language activity where you buy the largest sized nuts and bolts and then, you write lower case letters on the nut and upper case letters on the bolt.
Thought it was a cool idea, so I contacted her to see if she would mind if I shared her idea with you.
The link to her blog has some other resources for working with young children.

Nicole From One Hook Wonder did a post in the winter about her sons spending time with their daddy and using tools. They have an amazing set up for their sons to use tools along side their Daddy...really nice!

If you would want to get some woodworking tools for your children, or woodworking books, they have a wonderful selection of both tools and woodworking project books at For Small Hands

Please be sure to check out:
Jennifer's Making Memories Monday link-ups,
Jody's Montessori Monday at Mommy Moment link-ups,
and Nicole's Montessori Monday link-ups.

Happy (almost) Monday, everyone!


Mommy Moment said...

Working with tools is so much fun for children. Our girls both love helping us "fix" things. Our 4 year old even helped me sand down the table she has in our classroom!
And what a great idea for the nuts and bolts - I'll have to add that to my list of things to prepare!

Evenspor said...

My husband recently put together a real toolbag with real tools for our oldest, and he is thrilled. Daddy even etched our son's name into each and every tool.

We picked up a small vice last time we were at Harbor Freight that will be a part of the work bench Daddy plans to build. We have found a lot of smaller-sized tools at Harbor Freight for much cheaper than they tend to be at the Montessori places.

Sue said...

Hi Colleen,

I just wanted to let you know that I mentioned your blog in my "Homeschool Village" post today as one of my favorite homeschool bloggers.

Blessings to you,

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We are happy to announce our gifted pilot program starting Fall of 2014!
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