Getting Hands On

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(Photo uploaded to Flickr by HVargas)

When planning activities for the younger children, I endeavour to have a variety of activities and some which are construction based. This usually takes form in the Useful Box and we also have a set of smaller real tools that the children can use to practice hammering etc.

It wasn’t until I came across this Reuters article titled “Kids should work with hands for brains’ sake” that I realised, I really don’t have any like activities for the older two children. They will create occasionally with this stuff, but I think have reached a point where they find it a bit babyish.

I think because on the whole they occupy themselves quite well with various activities, I haven’t sought an age appropriate replacement for this activity. But I am thinking now that I should seek out more challenging alternatives for the two older boys that involve working with their hands:

“Working with one’s own hands in a real-world 3-D environment is imperative for full cognitive and intellectual development,”

This statement was from Dr. Aric Sigman, the author of a report commissioned by the Ruskin Mill Educational Trust. It was a UK based report, but I imagine the findings would not be too different in Australia and that we too have become a:

“software instead of a screwdriver society”

Now I am not anti computer by any means, (I certainly spend enough time on one my self 🙂 ). But I think, like all things, moderation and variety is needed. As such we do have strict limitations on the amount of time that the children can use the computer. The spend a lot of time playing football, chess, reading, Lego and playing board games.

Out of these activities only Lego is really hands on based work. So I have a had quick search around and come across some sites which have some great activities that the children could try:

Web Weather For Kids – Science Activities
Zoom Sci – Engineering Design It
Construction Challenge Activity

I have mentioned before that I would like Mr Infrastructre to put together a fort/climbing frame arrangement in the backyard. I now have ideas growing about a group project for Mr I and the children (he just doesn’t know about it yet!).

How do you get your older children into hands on activities?