If you have not heard about the Baan Dek Montessori school and blog, I recommend that you check it out. The blog is BEAUTIFUL and the school looks wonderful. I hope to make a visit one day to see this AMI accredited school it all of it’s glory.
I got to be a part of their Spotlight Interview series and it was so much fun to answer the questions as it got me thinking about my future goals and what I truly love about Montessori (which is actually everything). Check it out at the link above!
One of the things I love about the Montessori classroom is the opportunity the children have to use real tools to complete projects at the workbench. In our classroom we have a workbench with safety googles, a vice, saw, hammer, nails, hand drill, sanding block, googles, small broom and many other supplies for the children to use for projects. The most recent project they worked on was wooden boats. This project was best suited for the kindergarten children, but the younger ones were able to try the saw and the hand drill too.
The children will also be working on making small beds for little clothespin people. This one takes a few more steps. I’m excited to see how it goes.
Both of these projects came from this amazing book! If you have not seen it, I highly recommend it as it tells you all of the supplies and measurements needed for each project. Find it here: http://www.forsmallhands.com/children-can-build
Some adults might wonder if using tools in an early childhood environment is unsafe. I completely understand the concern. Each child is given a step-by-step lesson before she may attempt to use the tools. When the saw first comes into the room, a teacher will stay near by to make sure that the no one is misusing it. Because the children in a Montessori classroom are accustomed to using materials purposefully rather than playfully/wildly, they take the workbench extremely seriously.
Please let me know if you have any other resources for building with children!