Life Skills Practice with Hammers

Hammering is such a great activity for children. From their first little tool set as toddlers to their deeper understanding of tools as preschoolers, children enjoy banging and ‘fixing’ the things around them. As they become preschoolers the skills of using a hammer can be developed and worked on to help them develop practical life skills.

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Using a hammer properly has many benefits for children. It develops hand-eye coordination, strengthens their hands which is especially important for writing later on, it teaches them the importance of safety and following rules and it helps to develop their persistence as they learn to master the skill.

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We used a pumpkin, wooden tees and real child size hammers to learn the skills of placing a nail and hammering it in. The pumpkin provides enough resistance that the tee takes a couple of hits before it goes in whilst also been easy enough for their strength to successfully achieve this. The children learnt to push the tee in a bit with their hand first and then to hammer it in from there. It is a tricky task and one that took a couple of tries to get the hang of.

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The children learnt to be aware of the people around them and where their hands were, but they still needed active supervision the entire time. The best part about using wooden tees is that when this task is done you can either leave it out for the animals or pop it straight into your compost or green waste bin.

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Early Years Learning Framework

Outcome 4 - Children are confident and involved learners

4.4 - Children resource their own learning through connecting with people, place, technologies and natural and processed materials

This Activity is for:

  • Preschoolers who listen well and follow rules. You know your children best and need to use your judgment on whether they are ready to use real hammers or not.

Encourage children to:

  • Push the golf tee in with their hand a little bit first

  • Use the hammer to hammer in the golf tees

  • Be aware of others around them

Extend on this by:

  • Using nails and wood when they have the skill mastered

Simplify this by:

  • Using wooden hammers or rubber mallets instead of metal hammers

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