Apr 29, 2009

Nails and screws and cardboard boxes

For this activity we used old cardboard boxes (sturdyish ones like wine boxes or diaper boxes), some largish nails that we had left over from making batteries out of lemons and potatos (I'll get around to posting about that one day), some old wood screws (the nails and screws were put in the yoghurt pots, so every kid had his or her own stash). screwdrivers (phillips) and instead of hammers, because a)we only had one and b)it was bloody heavy, we used rocks from the garden for hammering. By the way, yes, everything is covered in dried sidewalk chalk from earlier play(the rocks, the floor and even the outside walls in a later picture, not to worry though, it hoses off) I marked a load of dots in the tops of the boxes and the kids used the rocks to hammer the nails in on the dots, then they pulled the nails out and used the holes as a guide to start screwing the wood screws in. Both my girls have used screwdrivers a lot recently with different projects and the lads loved this activity too. They all got the clockwise to screw in and anticlockwise to screw out thing by the end.




They stuck at this with minimal interference from me for what must have been approaching two hours. My job seemed to be merely fetching more nails and screws. They were so into it that we ran out of screws and I had to resort to giving them a box of white plastic coated hooks that had screw ends to keep going with.


As usual, the combination of being allowed to play with two things that they usually aren't (rocks and nails) meant that this was a very popular activity. I think they inadvertently got a lot of skills from this though and it was free because we had all the stuff lurking in the garage. Yay free! I'm just going to pile the boxes in the garage and if they ask to do it again tomorrow or next week then I'll turn the boxes upside down and give them some smaller screws and nails and see how they do with something a little more fiddly. Mwah ha ha!

21 comments:

lisalee2 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
lisalee said...

I love your blog! My son just snuck out of bed and saw these pictures.I know what we will be doing tomorrow!

beryl said...

that's so cool! the kids really do look totally absorbed in the activity.

Marie {Make and Takes} said...

So great. I just wanted to let you know that I've featured you as my Blog of the Week! Thanks for the fun creative inspiration!

Kitten Muffin said...

Oh! Thank you Marie! I have a couple of thank yous now that I need to post. So glad that you're enjoying the blog, because I certainly enjoy Makes and Takes.

Sonja said...

So clever. I can always use the kiddos occupied with an activity for a bit. This would be a great one for the preschool classroom too!

Amber! said...

LOVE this idea!!! My kids will go nuts with it.

LiEr said...

Congrats on being Blog of the Week at Make and Takes! I really like this idea of using cardboard boxes as...er... cardboard boxes for a change. But the whole newly-sanctioning-a-previously-banned-thing is genius. Nothing like that to get the kids to stay really long at an activity.

Karin said...

So great! Love this idea!

craftwithme said...

I just found your blog (from a comment you made on another blog) and I think you're genius. My kids would LOVE these things. I just have one question and it sounds terrible, but how do you get the patience to do these things? I always thought I'd be the kind of mom who did this kind of stuff with her kids, but I lack the patience...

Amber said...

My boys would be crazy for this! Oh, if only you lived next door to us!!

Kitten Muffin said...

Thanks for the lovely comments!

Craftwithme, honestly, there's less whining and squabbling with my crew if I have things like this going on. They are so full of curiosity that if I can manage to direct some of it towards an activity of some sort (ideally one with some kind of learning potencial) then I'm less likely to pull all my hair out, bury them up to their necks in the back yard and eat a whole jar of Nutella without a spoon.

I have a background in science and design, so making stuff and finding ways for them to figure out how things work is nerdily fun for me too ;)

Rachel@oneprettything.com said...

I've been pouring over your blog since Ikat Bag emailed me about it yesterday. You have so many fabulous and creative projects here. I'd love to link to some if you didn't mind!

Kitten Muffin said...

Sure thing Rachel, link away. Glad you enjoy the blog! I'll be checking out yours now too :)

I wanna be creative said...

After your post I jumped for glee. This was a perfect project to do at our Playcentre. Kids from 2 to 4 loved it, it was so popular. Thanks heaps.

http://www.flickr.com/people/iwannabcreative/

Beth- the mama bee said...

my kids would love this. So happy to have found your blog!

Beth- the mama bee said...

I tried your activity and blogged about it here: thanks!
http://mamabeefromthehive.blogspot.com/

Anne said...

I love this idea! I just found your blog from your post on the flip flops when you linked to me. Thanks!

I think my girls would love doing this!

Catherine Hansen Peart said...

This is fantastic. I let my 7 yr old hammer into wood but my 3 yr old has been wanting to as well. This is the perfect alternative!

Karin said...

LOVE this idea! What a great way for the kids to hammer and use a screww driver, but in a safe way.

kristin said...

okay, there are very few blogs that i sit and read completely through on first glance.

but i am with yours!


anyway, i'll stop commenting now, but thank you for the inspiration!