This week we began to make some simple decorations from sticks and wooden beads.
We believe in providing real tools for children to use in their constructions; nothing is more frustrating and discouraging than a child using equipment which prevents him or her from achieving their aims and plans.
Exposing young children to using real tools, with real materials and for a real purpose can help to foster their creativity, imagination, self-esteem, problem solving and ability to successfully assess risks.
The children began by either using the saw or secateurs to cut sticks into varying lengths. This lead to some wonderful conversations between the group of children, as to which were the smallest sticks, the next biggest, the largest and so on, we then lined them up according to size (a great demonstration of promoting mathematical language and concepts in early childhood).
Next came the trickier part and for most of the children the most exciting, it was time to get the drill out! Due to the fact that the sticks were narrow and wobbly, this was an area where I as the teacher supported their learning, either by holding the sticks steady or helping to hold the heavy drill while the children squeezed the trigger.
As we all worked the children shared their knowledge of drills including how drills work, what they can be used for and some rather interesting stories from home! All the children were very responsible and respectful, they helped and supported each other in their achievements and took a great deal of pride in their accomplishments.
Ryan admitted “This is really hard hard work”, but he persevered and saw the task through from start to completion, remaining focused the whole time.
Thinking independently (being able to work and learn from others in reciprocal situations).
Finally it was time to thread our sticks onto some ribbon in size order, placing a bead in between each one. Threading with a needle involves fine motor development, hand eye co-ordination and the use of a pincer grip. With this grip, a child uses only their thumb and index finger to hold and manipulate small objects; the development of this grip is essential for holding a pen/pencil and for successful writing later.