Last term the children spent a lot of time role playing a trike workshop and we wondered if real tools might be part of the interest – so we have offered them some pliers and wire and metal bits and pieces.
Some of the children – not necessarily the ones we expected! – have spent time at the tinkering table using the tools – they have been careful about using the safety goggles and have explored the different items, as well as other materials that they have added such as pipe cleaners (which also have wire in them we realised).
The coordination involved in holding and snipping the wire was quite challenging – great for building physical skills and perseverance. Learning about the two different sorts of pliers was interesting – and remembering which ones were for a specific task added another level of learning. None of the children was really familiar with this sort of tool, perhaps they see more hammers and screw drivers?
We will ask them about bits and pieces to bring in – and try to collect some machines that can be taken apart to reveal their workings.
Using the tools gave the workers such a sense of independence and achievement – a very engaging activity, and one of the many useful aspects of this learning is the realisation that machines don’t work by magic!