Today our pre-k students used hammers, albeit child-sized ones.
To begin, I tapped in several nails into a log. At first I tapped them in at random. Then I had visions of children hammering each others hands due to chaos. In reality, there was no chaos at all. Even though we only had three hammers, everyone waited patiently for a turn, then hammering to their heart's content before passing it on. There was no wildness, only concentration and focus.
Still, after the first group of children finished, I took the nails out and clustered them into different sections, just in case.
As it turns out, I didn't tap some of the nails in hard enough and they fell out. My assistant was brave enough to hold the nails in place. I also showed the students how to remove a nail with the claw end, which resulted in a broken hammer (cheap thing)!
We did have one incident where a child banged his finger, but overall it was a raging success.
Here are some thoughts on hammering:
"It takes a long time" (said with a frustrated look)
"It's working!" (said with a smile and satisfied look of accomplishment)
"It's going down." (said thoughtfully)