woodworking for preschoolers ?

SWMBO had a meeting at the preschool last night and is on some committee or another and one of the tasks is woodworking.
I am at a total loss. Anyone have any ideas on what to do with a group of preschoolers?
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You know those wood blocks of various sizes and shapes, used to make towers that are immediately knocked over? Maybe the construction of those towers can be called woodworking... My other idea is fingerpainting on carefully-sanded plywood - sounds expensive to me. Seriously, who came up with this idea? What did they have in mind? Has it been done before? Andy
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You know those wood blocks of various sizes and shapes, used to make towers that are immediately knocked over? Maybe the construction of those towers can be called woodworking... My other idea is fingerpainting on carefully-sanded plywood - sounds expensive to me. Seriously, who came up with this idea? What did they have in mind? Has it been done before? Andy
My grandson, Nick, is three and a half. So far, we have made him a GREAT batch of wooden blocks out of scraps and bits of old closet rod, even a few pieces of PVC tossed in. We cut some srips of masonite for him to use as race track. We also built a rudimentary pickup truck by cutting out the basic outline then using a hole saw to make the four "wheels", painting them black and putting them on with long bolts and a little glue to hold the acorn nuts on.
They LOVE being able to paint and color on the projects. Other than that they get a little impatient with waiting for the grownups to do all of the sawing and cutting...
Maybe precut some shapes they can assemble into projects using SUPERVISED hot glue and paint. All non toxic, of course.
Kate O|||||||O
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Popsicle stick projects (there are 1000's) using sticks and glue. Probably not suitable for kids under 4. The projects must be simple and easy since young children have very short attention spans. Might use clothes pins or rubber bands for clamps. No finishing or cutting at this age!
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Never too young to start, providing you don't try to exceed their abilities *too* much. My son was a pre-schooler when he helped us build our house (yes, he did some hammering too):
http://www.delorie.com/house/old/jason-foam.jpg
Choose projects where you can pre-cut all the pieces, and pre-drill all the nail holes. Then, they can at least assemble the kits, glue, pound in the nails, sand, and paint.
Scroll sawing is fairly safe if you keep the speed low enough and use thin easy-to-cut wood.
My daughter learned woodturning at age 9, preschool isn't that much younger than that. Here she is giving a demonstration at our local symposium:
http://www.delorie.com/photos/20030510-gswt/IMG_0781.JPG
http://www.delorie.com/photos/20030510-gswt/IMG_0812.JPG
(yes, I know the belt cover is off, I didn't do it)
At our annual craft fair, I often let preschoolers "do woodturning" (I make it as safe as I can, and they only use scrapers for a few seconds each).
Another idea is model rocketry, which is woodworking followed by a launch. Those kits are glue-only and come pre-cut.
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Wow that is awsome to see someone that young that intent on something that isn't connected to TV or music! bc

http://www.delorie.com/photos/20030510-gswt/IMG_0781.JPGhttp://www.delorie.com/photos/20030510-gswt/IMG_0812.JPG
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Fri, May 4, 2007, 2:45pm snipped-for-privacy@delorie.com (DJDelorie) doth sayeth: Never too young to start, providing you don't try to exceed their abilities *too* much. My son was a pre-schooler when he helped us build our house (yes, he did some hammering too): <snip> My daughter learned woodturning at age 9, <snip> But both them wre in one-on-one situations, not in a group supervised by one or two people who are probably NOT familiar wit woodworking. Anything but one-one one is pretty much a recipe for disaster.
I started shop class in the 4th grade, and they didn't have kindergarden there, so I was 8 (birthday was after the start of the school year - I don't guess they do that anymore, just hold the kid back a year). Times were differet then. If one of us knicked ourselves with a saw in class, the teacher put on a bandaid, and that was about it. We got home, and instead of our parents immediately screaming lawsuit, they'd look at it, say, "Next tme be careful.", and go back to what they were doing. In some ways the old days actually were better.
JOAT What is life without challenge and a constant stream of new humiliations? - Peter Egan
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It might be a stretch of the definition, but how about bulding a kite? Cutting the sticks to length, notching them for the string, Covering with paper (or a trash bag). Plus they get the thrill of seeing thier creation fly. Don't forget to bow the crosspiece.
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Further to that, I've run a wood working session for 5 - 6 year old girls making kite string spools and flower presses with precut pieces. The girls were able to use the drill press (with an adult right there), assemble their work using wood mallets and glue, then sand and paint.
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Check the Saturday schedule at Lowes & HD. One of them takes kids at age 5. This is most likely a pre-cut, pre-drilled item (birdhouse, toolbox, etc) that can be assembled in a matter of minutes. There's only so much damage even a 5-year-old can do to him/herself with a small hammer and small nails/brads and one adult per 3-5 kids.
Anything involving power tools will need to be one-on-one, with an adult hand ready to take the damage...
If painting is included, be sure to have some type of apron/coverup. An adult-size long sleeve shirt (put on backwards), will cover most of a 5-8 year old.
John
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Before I forget there are a LOAD of kids projects on-line, some involving wodd, some not, for all ages. Including some for gluing up pre-cut stuff. So no need to lay out any money at all for plans or anything like that. Google is your friend.
JOAT What is life without challenge and a constant stream of new humiliations? - Peter Egan
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Fri, May 4, 2007, 9:58am (EDT-3) snipped-for-privacy@comcast.net (RayV) doth sayeth: SWMBO had a meeting at the preschool last night and is on some committee or another and one of the tasks is woodworking. I am at a total loss. Anyone have any ideas on what to do with a group of preschoolers?
If they mean actual woodworking, sounds like something one of those liberal idiots would come up with.
If they're talking about a one-on-one, where you put the kid's hand on a handsaw handle to "cut" the wood, to hold the end of the wood while you cut it, glue up, tighten clamps, etc., that's something else entirely. I doubt that's what tey mean.
I'd say probably what they mean is turning them loose with glue and a bunch of popsicle sticks or their equivalnt. Possibly they mean gluing pre-cut pieces togeher. If they mean anyting different I don't think I'd want my kid(s) there.
JOAT What is life without challenge and a constant stream of new humiliations? - Peter Egan
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