Why I Let My Children Play with Tools

The idea of children playing with tools can send your heart racing, your stomach tightening and your head in a panic. Tools are dangerous. Tools and children don’t go together, however, here’s why I let my children play with tools…

Yes, tools are dangerous. It can be terrifying seeing children with a big metal hammer in their hand or a saw in their grasp. Anything could happen. I let my children play with selected tools. They are kept an eye on and have been told about safety.

Children love to join in with DIY. This is how they learn. They observe everything us grown ups do, they absorb it like a sponge, much more than we give them credit for. They ask questions, eager to hear the answers, to gain knowledge, just like mum and dad.

This observation is wonderful, but children gain even more from helping out and being allowed the freedom to explore tools and material themselves. By allowing my children supervised play with tools, they learn how to handle them, how to use them effectively and appropriately. They learn some key motor skills and problem solving skills.

I recently let my kids play with screwdrivers, hammers and chisels whilst we worked on a garden project. They had an amazing time unscrewing screws, testing out their coordination and working out how hard different materials were i.e. wood, brick etc. Next, they got stuck into chiselling out a brick. This lasted for hours and they ended up with a little brick dolls chair! They also chiselled out their name in a brick. This was amazing, they learnt so much!

This little activity kept them amused for several days, they really didn’t want it to end. They were so pleased with their creations (as was I). Yes, they could have hurt themselves, but by taking a risk and allowing them to explore tools for themselves they learnt how to handle them, what the tools did, their limitations, safety and so much more.

On previous occasions my son has used the saw too. Again, he experienced learning hands on rather than just observing it. He learnt a sawing technique, where to place his hands safely, how to manage sharp things and still keep his fingers intact.

Children can excel when they are given the opportunity to figure things out for themselves, explore and discover their own abilities. Yes, it does mean taking a risk and yes it is scary, but manage that risk, as best you can and children will often surprise us with just how careful they can be and just how much they learn.

That’s why I let my children play with tools do you?

9 thoughts on “Why I Let My Children Play with Tools”

  1. I think this is absolutely fine. We should let them play with tools when they’re at the right age and trust in them. They’ll learn their own boundaries and it will make them more confident too.

  2. I love that you are letting your kids play and explore with tools! Our 8 year old is learning all about hammers and nails while fixing up an old chicken coup. There is so much to be learned!

  3. This is great! My three year old is always fascinated when I’m doing DIY, and I’ve let him have a go with the screwdriver. He has his own (plastic) saw and hammer, but I am keen to progress to real tools when he’s a little bit older! I definitely think that risk-taking and trust is essential in parenting.

  4. Interesting! I agree, children learn when they’re challenged to work things out for themselves. I also think that by being there and controlling the risks you’re allowing them to learn in a safe environment – they’ll be building you a house next 😉 #LetKidsBeKids

  5. I couldn’t help click the link when I saw the title. It’s great how responsible kids can be when they are shown in the correct way. I remember making all sorts of things in my Granddads work shop when I was little. One of the best memories of him because of it. Unleashing my creativeness!

  6. A lady after my own heart. It is a joy to see photos like this and children allowed to help with DIY. My kids are a exactly the same and now a few years older than yours can turn their hand to helping out with most things on the farm it is a real asset as they grow. Keep them learning safely Karen it will pay dividends.

  7. I think this is great and something we should be encouraging under supervision. Oldest loves forest school because they use tools and make fires and learn how to start fires 🙂

  8. I am totally with you on this one. We’ve always let our children use the tools. Not all of the tools. The chainsaw is out of bounds, but they have their own collection of real tools they can use and an area in the shed. I know some people were surprised when we gave them stone carving kits a few years back. It is a fun way to hone the skills of eye/hand coordination and risk assessment.

  9. My son is nearly 7 and yes we let him join in with diy. My dare devil daughter is almost three and there’s no way on this earth id let her near tools lol…
    I allow her to play with tap tap ( a hammer and nail game) but otherwise no!!! Lol

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