When working in the carpentry area it will be important to provide close supervision while helping children learn to work with real tools, gain comfort wearing safety goggles and building near others. As with Art Stations, parents are encouraged to be “process focused” so children feel free to explore the materials and tools without the pressure of needing to fulfill adult expectations to build something. Parents are also asked not to build while in the carpentry area, as these models create an expectation that can lead children to abandon their own ideas or ask parents to do the building for them.
The tools and scrap materials are stored in the cabinets above the wood box. At the beginning of the morning, place them along with nails in center of the worktable. Children may choose pieces of wood, as needed, from the wood box. Place up to six small baskets with scrap materials on the worktable. Children can choose these items to enhance their projects. Safety is of the utmost importance. Never leave children unsupervised. If you must leave the area, even for a minute, put the tools away and send the children out of the area, or ask another parent to take your place. Limit the number of children at the worktable to the number you can adequately supervise. Allow only as many as can work together safely and comfortably. Hammer in loose nails and bend down the exposed points on finished carpentry work. Completed projects must remain in the area. Be sure to put the children’s first name and last initial on their work using a sharpie. At 11:25 AM, clean up the carpentry area and replace the protective coverings. Return the materials and tools to the overhead cabinet. Lock all cabinets and woodbin. At 11:30 AM bring finished project to the front table for parents to pick up. Come inside for circle time.
Bring in a large piece of flat piece of wood or roll in a wood stump and let the children make a group carpentry project using glue or hammers.