Sunday, April 11, 2010

"Can We Keep The Hammer Outside Just In Case I Need It Again?"

We've been working with real tools at school almost every day lately. Alex's mom Maya posted these photos and comments on my Facebook wall yesterday:

"Normally I wouldn't let Alex use a hammer on her own but now, since she's had so much practice, when she asked to hammer a nail in the fence, I let her. She then said, "Can we keep the hammer outside just in case I need it again?" Of course she went on to fix the Adirondack chair too."

"It's like having my very own Handy Manny around the house. She learned the word 'retract' today. She was playing with the measuring tape earlier. LOL!! Who needs toys, bring out the toolbox."
Last week Charlie B., while cutting a long piece of tape from the tape machine, told me, "We have Teacher Tom tape at home." He meant, of course, the set of rainbow masking tape his mom Andrea piggybacked onto our school Discount School Supply order for his own personal use.

Annabelle has her own Little World at home, where she plays with her sisters.

Several of our families now have coffee bean pathways in their gardens, like we do at Woodland Park.

It all makes me so happy. Who needs toys?

I haven't yet, however, heard of anyone trying fly swatter painting at home.

Speaking of which, many people suggested that fly swatter painting looked like something to try outside. Frankly, it had never occurred to me, so we dragged the whole rig outside last week. I managed to convince Orlando to swat the paper a few times because his mom Valerie had been disappointed that his lone "indoor" painting had gotten hopelessly stuck together with that of a classmate, but overall there just wasn't much enthusiasm for the outdoor version of the project. I think it's much more exciting to make a mess inside. Although a few kids had fun swatting the fence.

Now there's also paint on the sidewalk in front of the school. I guess we're lucky there were no pedestrians passing by at just the right (wrong?) time. I doubt that any amount of explanation about our progressive, play-based curriculum would have got us out of paying the dry cleaning bill.

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Unknown said...

Wow. Awesome pictures! I love that. I tell everyone I know about your preschool. And just when they are all excited and ready to join, I tell them you are far away in Seattle. So far none of them have offered to move, but I am sure it is bound to happen soon : )

Ms Debbie said...

Randy used scrap wood to build our kids a wood working station. it has real tools . The kids are LOVING it. The part that I thought was genius was he drilled holes for dowels in a piece of wood. The kids can hammer the dowels and when they are all " in " flip the board over to do it again. He has it nested on the end of the work bench. What I have found interesting is.. most of our wood workers are girls.

Let the Children Play said...

What special feedback to have from a parent - and to know that despite the slow start the tinkering station is really starting to inspire the kids.

Fly swatters outside - will have to remember that one. And I can think of no better advertisement for your preschool than paint splatters on the pavements outside!

Deborah Stewart said...

I love that you took the fly swatters outside and gave that a try too. I guess part of the fun of that activity is making the mess more than actually creating something to take home:) My husband is a carpenter and he wanted our daughter to take over the business someday but her fascination with hammers ended quite early:)

Lindsey said...

My girls LOVE building random things in the back yard. It's actually what my next post is all about. I'm so happy to have discovered your blog and find that you are into providing your kids with the same types of possibilities and experiences that I value.

Play for Life said...

Those fly swatters are certainly getting a good work out Tom and you must just about have the most decorated preschool around ... ever thought of hiring those children and their fly swatters out for preschool make overs?