Friday, September 3, 2010

hammer time

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)


  1. Rock on, my sister! The world needs more people who can do it themselves.

    Your post made me think about hammer size. We too use 7 oz. hammers with our preschoolers, but the comment, "It takes a long time," made me think, "It would take an adult a long time using a 7 oz. hammer." I don't know how many times I've been frustrated at school when I need to make a little repair and all we have are those little hammers -- you have to swing them really hard to get anything done. If I were driving those nails I'd be using a 16 oz. hammer and driving them in one or two swings without much effort.

    I'm wondering if we're handicapping our kids when we don't give them the right tool for the job. Next time we're driving nails, I'm going to take in a few heavier hammers and see if that makes a difference. =)

  2. I was wondering the same thing too, Tom. I'll check your blog for a heavy hammer update!


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