Tips for using real tools with kids


Giving children the opportunity to use real tools is important during childhood because it allows them to learn about and experience real tasks, just like adults.

Children are naturally curious about the world around them and we all know how curious they are when mum or dad pulls out the drill to fix something. Use everyday opportunities like these to engage with your child and teach them about what you are doing, why and how, and don’t forget to let them have a go! With a little guidance and encouragement, your child can come away feeling a huge sense of achievement. This is how natural learning takes place. So, whether it’s helping dad to build or fix something, get busy in the garden or help with cleaning (my children love vacuuming!) and cooking, there are many opportunities for children to be involved.


Brooms and sweeping are a great activity for all ages and so is gardening. My son is literally planting, caring for and watering our veggie garden daily. He has his own set of gardening tools, including his own wheelbarrow (child size). He is learning about his food source, which is so important for our children as many families have lost their connection to their food.


Helping in the kitchen is another great way to get children involved in real life tasks. Whether it’s washing or chopping veggies, mixing, grating, cracking eggs, cutting and even flipping pancakes, it’s all an experience that will lead to a better understanding about their world and how to safely interact with it.

You can find some great child safe cutters online or simply use a butter knife for cutting. Getting your child to help with cooking is a great skill to have, even if it does take longer. It also allows us to slow down and take the time to see these experiences through our child’s eyes, magic!

If your child loves building (who doesn’t?) then giving them the opportunity to use real tools so they actually make something is hugely beneficial and giving your child the confidence to use a tool is a skill they will carry through life.


This 16 piece real tool set for kids is a great start for school aged children as it contains a good mix of working tools that are a smaller size so easier for children to hold and use.


Here are some tips for using real tools with your child;

  • Guide them gently by showing them how to use it and try not to correct them too much.
  • Teach them the safety rules.
  • Be there to encourage them but also let them learn and explore it on their own with you by their side if needed.
  • Teach them how to care for the tools and clean and put them away after use.
  • Let your child come up with some fun projects to complete (see below for ideas).


Woodworking Ideas;

  • Nail into wood.
  • Use a screw and bolts.
  • Pull apart or put together some furniture or even a toy (think Ikea!)
  • Build a box they can decorate and paint afterwards and store their favourite things in.
  • Sand and saw wood.
  • Use a measuring tape or ruler and learn about measurements (mms, cms, metres etc) by measuring the wood.

Another great project is building a busy board for younger children like this one. You can find many ideas on Pinterest!



10 Must have real tools for kids; Screen Shot 2016-04-05 at 1.16.27 pm

  1. Garden tools
  2. Wheelbarrow
  3. Broom
  4. Rake
  5. Peeler
  6. Knife
  7. Screwdriver
  8. Drill
  9. Hammer
  10. Saw
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