Exploring with tools


As practitioners it is important that we regularly ask ourselves questions about our practice and the experiences that we offer the children in our care. This is achieved through our daily observations of the children as we watch them play and listen to them engage in conversation with each other.

As practitioners we also question each other about our children and different ways we can support them. At Townhouse we believe it is crucial that our children have access to high quality equipment and learning opportunities  to excite, challenge and extend their learning.

“Real tools are far more interesting to young children which naturally leads children to be more positively and constructively invested in their use and in the classroom experience as a whole” Teach Pre-school.

An example of this is the use of real tools. Recently our observations have shown that our children like the ‘toy’ tools to build and fix items around the room. To support the children’s interest in this area Sarah brought real tools into pre-school for the children to use. This enabled the children to have first-hand experiences of a drill, hammer and screw driver in comparison to what they enjoy to play with daily.


Enhancing this experience provides the children with a sense of accomplishment and pride in their achievements and helps the child to develop a comparison of what it is like to physically use real tools to support their play ideas.

This activity was immediately met with enthusiasm and delight from the children, who came over to the table to see what the activity was. After an initial safety talk to the children about standing and watching from three steps back and when using the tools to keeping their eyes on the activity, Sarah asked the children to come up one at a time.

On the table was a drill, hammer and screw driver, and a pot of screws and nails. Sarah spoke to the children one at a time as they came to the activity, talking about how to use the drill, and guiding them to the button to press, along with showing the difference between a nail and screw and which tool is needed for which item.

The children successfully used all the tools to create their desired creation, and were all very pleased to show them off to their mummies and daddies at home time.


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