Like most toddlers Freddy absolutely loves tools but it can be frustrating for him that he doesn't yet have the dexterity to use the tools in a fulfilling way.
So enter the 'Toddler DIY Workbench'. [Do people outside of the UK know what DIY means? It's 'Do-It-Yourself'.] Anyway, this activity is quick to put together, free and absolutely perfect for toddlers like Freddy.
The workbench has 3 activity 'sections' which I outlined in black marker to separate them and help Freddy to understand which tool goes with each part. The three sections are:
- Screwing in screws
- Cutting using a saw
For this section I used wooden golf pegs which I just pushed slightly into the box. I used a picture framing hammer as it is smaller and lighter than a general purpose hammer. After successfully hammering the pegs in several times it was more fun to push them in by hand.
Screwing in screws
By using a very short screwdriver it is easier for small hands to manipulate it which means that Freddy was able to accurately engage it into a screw head. He was only able to turn the screws a bit in each direction but that was enough to make him feel like he had successfully used the screwdriver - he had such a look of achievement on his face.
Cutting using a saw
This was the hardest section for Freddy to try but by far the most enjoyable, especially since he is keenly aware of how dangerous a saw is so even being allowed to touch one is a treat. It goes without saying that you need to know what is safe for your child whilst still promoting independence and interest.
And what was Henry doing whilst all the banging and sawing was taking place?