One thing I always want my daughters to have is a deep sense of pride in their abilities to work with their hands. Growing up, my parents always encouraged me to build things and help any way I wanted around the house. I remember scraping paint, digging in the garden, throwing clay…I was empowered to do anything I set my mind to. This DIY Activity board may not seem like a big deal to us, but letting your children work with real tools at an early age helps them feel capable and proud of their work. It is also so nice to have things like this on hand whenever you are stuck inside and you feel like your children just need something to focus on.
This board can be used in stages. We used it during the summer months when the girls were two and a half to work on hand strength, twisting and untwisting and also we cut out little wooden shapes to practice shape recognition. We used it for a few months and then I stashed it away until January when I brought it out again. It was amazing to see how much more precise they have gotten in just a few months! We talked about size comparison, practiced our counting and we let the girls practice using a wrench to twist and untwist the nuts.
You can make your own easily at home! With some scrap wood, a drill and some nuts and bolts! We got extra big ones so that they would be easier to handle but make sure you always supervise your children when using this, they still could be a choking hazard.
Sand the wood to smooth out any rough edges, we rounded the edges to minimize potential boo-boos. Next decide the placement, mark your spots and drill through using the appropriate drill bit. Thread your bolt through and use one nut to tightly keep it in place (you don’t want your children to be able to unscrew the one that is holding it together so use some muscle here) and then you can stack on other nuts or washers for them to use!
We turned this DIY Activity Board into a little Spanish tool lesson and practiced some beginning words with the girls. I love that they see me working with power tools and hope they continue to break the stigma that women don’t use tools. We are starting early 🙂
Here are the Spanish words we used:
Enroscar (ehn-rrohs-kahr) – to screw
Tornillo (tohr-nee-yoh) – bold
Tuerca (twehr– kah) – nut
Arandela (ah-rahn-deh-lah) – washer
Tools that could help:
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