Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Little Handyman - Tools January Part 1

We got many of our furnitures for our new place from Ikea which mostly required some assembly. While watching SH put together the new stuffs, Xue got all excited and his (huge) interest in tools grew from there. He became the Little Handyman in our house and his toolset became his favorite toy for weeks. SH gave him easy tasks like putting the nails into the holes or held his hand as they drilled the screws in together. Xue would run excitedly to his mini toy toolbox and search for his own hammer or drill whenever SH got out his hammer or drill so that he could help Papa. January became 'tools month' by default and as long as anything were tools related, Xue would get all excited about them. Here are some stuffs we did for this theme:

1) 'the box'
Simple DIY toys are the best. All I did was to cut a few holes in the box and he was happily hammering and sawing away. This simple make shift 'toy' became his favorite activity for weeks. 

Totally digging this expression of intense concentration to get the straw into the hole. lol.

Over here, I'm showing him how to use his measuring tape. We'll point at the numbers on the measuring tape as I count, a great way to start him on counting! For some reason, he loved this activity and for many days, he would pick out every book in his shelf so that we can measure their length together.

Silly boy got all hysterical trying to push some cardboard boxes into the cut holes.

Even now after a month, I still see him sitting at a corner fiddling with the box. The box is in pretty bad shape ready and I'm getting ready a new one for him!

2) Line and Shape Tracing
I printed and laminated these line and shape tracing activities (from royalbaloo) which was also a big hit with Xue. I laminated them so that we can redo the activities as many times as we like and he quickly learnt to take a piece of wet tissue and wiped off his drawings.

3) Hammering and Sawing Away
Xue hammered and sawed away with his tools whenever he found the chance to do so. Play dough, wooden pegs, foams, straws, plastic buttons etc.

4) Take-a-part Airplane Toy
Ok, we splurged on this toy for him because we absolutely loved the concept! It's a toy aeroplane which can be totally dismantled with a drill (included in the toy) and assembled back again. Hands on experience is the best way to learn how all the tools work and since we can't let him handle the real tools on his own, this is a perfect toy. He even learnt to change the direction of the drill and the drill bit through the process. The parts are big and easy for young kids to handle and they work like the real stuffs! So far Xue can dismantle the whole plane on his own but need some help on the assembly. 

5) Tools Matching

The little tools pictures are from the same set as the line and shape tracing activities and they can be found here. I laminated them too since we will be handling them frequently.

6) Checking out the real stuffs (done with supervision)
Xue checked out what's in Papa's toolbox and believe it or not, this became his favorite activity of the month. He bugged us to bring down the toolbox many times a day and had us name every item in the box. 

7) Cutting and pasting activity
From the tools printable set as well, Xue practiced cutting strips of paper and pasting the pictures. On a side note these training scissors from Fiskars are really good. Xue learnt how to cut with a scissors almost right away with them. They are sharp enough not to cause frustration but yet safe for children to handle. There is a lever that opens the blades after each cut to help young children learn how to cut more easily. When the child has mastered opening and closing the scissors, the training lever can be flipped up for traditional cutting action.

No, we are not over with tools yet. In fact, we went on to Tools February and expanded to construction as well. Will be back with Part 2!

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