School-age 2

Woodworking Tools
November 2019


The School-age 2 children have recently demonstrated their interest in building items with wood. To sustain their interest, the educators Kara and Sam incorporated sandpaper and wooden pieces into their outdoor learning. When the children saw the sandpaper, they were not sure what it was for. Sam asked the children to try the paper on a variety of woods to see the effect. Matvey said, “It’s giving the wood a haircut!” Kailey added, “It feels rough!” They commented, “The sandpaper is getting something on it! Sand!” Kara and Sam explained how the residue on the sandpaper is actually the wood fibers that are being smoothed off the wooden piece. Through this experience, the children were inspired to build with the sanded pieces of wood. Blake, Matvey, Everett, and Sebastian all helped to lug larger pieces of wood and props such as cones and bins to add their house. Then, Blake and Everett found a prop drill. Everett said, “I’m drilling the nails in” and mimicked drilling each hole along the piece of wooden shelf. When they completed their house, the children seemed to be very proud, showing it to their friends and educators.


To support our interest in building in our indoor environment, the children have used wooden blocks. Wyatt and Tiago learned about a foundation as they created a multilevel tower. They added more to the top of the tower, but it toppled over. The children had to use problem-solving to decide how to rebuild. Wyatt and Tiago decided to use props such as books to create multiple, sturdier levels of the tower. Tiago said, “This will stop it from tipping over.” Joey offered his help by grabbing books from the shelf. The boys noted that hardcover books were best for a level and sturdy foundation.


Child building with wooden blocks


To expand on these experiences, the educators set up a provocation by bringing out a tool box outside and inside of the classroom. The children had a chance to experiment with the measuring tape, level, and accessories such as screws and nails. This experience included measuring themselves, each other, and lengths around the environment. The children learned inches and centimeters as they measured, as well as sorting as they separated nails and screws. We learned about the tools used with these accessories as Kara set up a tool matching game. Matvey, Kayla, and Tiago used pictures of tools and their labels to match all of the tools except two. The pliers and wrench were the tricky tools. Kayla used logic and reasoning to skip over the pliers until the rest were matched. When she got to the final tool - wrench - she used deduction to compare the label for pliers/wrench with the pictures. This helped her to determine which was which. She then explained her thoughts on the uses for each tool, and was almost spot on for all of them!


Children matching tools to outlines of tools


By being exposed to the activities regarding woodworking, the children felt a sense of engagement and had a chance to develop their cognitive and problem-solving skills. How Does Learning Happen? Ontario’s Pedagogy for Early Years states that for children, optimal learning can occur when children are able to be fully engaged in active exploration, play, and inquiry (2014, p. 35). By integrating the learning with matching game and building blocks, we were able to provoke their curiosity and sustain their interest. Instead of acting as “keepers of knowledge,” the educators took roles as co-learners to enhance their participation and learning (2014, p. 35). While researching the usages of the various building tools, both the educators and children were able to expand their knowledge.





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75 Pebblecreek Drive
Kitchener, Ontario
N2A 0E3

Hours of Operation
6:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

(519) 894-0563


portrait of shannon

Shannon Bell, RECE

portrait of Deb

Deb Wintrip, RECE
Assistant Supervisor