Anyone who has watched young children tinkering with tools in the woodworking area will know how magical it can be. While engrossed in construction, children show extraordinary levels of concentration and engagement. Encompassing many aspects of the curriculum, the benefits of woodwork for children's development are evident in all areas of learning. If woodwork is a hobby you enjoy, doing it will make you happy.
Doing activities that we enjoy causes our brains to release serotonin, which improves mood. The sense of pride and completion experienced when a project is completed is also an important mood booster. Woodworking can even increase mental acuity, as the activity requires intense concentration. Through hands-on learning, children are building a foundation in their STEAM thinking skills and are much more likely to develop an interest in and pursue STEAM topics - so again woodworking could be seen as beneficial to the overall narrative.
Woodworking uses many skills you might not have thought you needed after school, including maths. Mr Kolman is an active researcher on woodworking in early childhood education and is an honorary research fellow at the University of Bristol's Graduate School of Education. Woodworking is an excellent pastime to forget the stress of the day while immersing yourself in an activity you enjoy. Woodworking is exceptional for developing children's creative and critical thinking skills as they tinker and experiment with the possibilities of wood and tools and then go on to express their ideas and solve their work.
Woodworking can be considered a wonderful alternative, as it allows children to work with real tools and authentic materials. Carpentry, once almost eradicated for fear of litigation, is making a comeback in early childhood. Children can begin to understand the basics of circuitry and incorporate disassembled electronic parts into their woodworking projects. This article features a review of Peter Moorhouse's book "Learning Through Woodwork", a great publication for practitioners that highlights the importance of woodworking in the early years.
Peter's website, "Irresistible Learning", contains a wealth of resources to help you get started in early years woodwork. Woodworking incorporates mathematical thinking, scientific enquiry, developing knowledge of technology, deepening understanding of the world, as well as physical development and co-ordination, communication and language, and personal and social development. By following these steps, woodworking becomes a low-risk activity when introduced and supervised correctly. Much has changed since those days and woodworking - as a creative activity for children to learn - has witnessed an exciting resurgence in preschools around the world.