Making Wood Work in Early Years…….

Making Wood Work in Early Years…….

‘There is no scrap wood, just pieces not used yet’  – Woodworkers Guild of America

Since the days of Froebel, woodworking was commonly seen as a core part of early childhood practice. Children are inherently drawn to wood and its wonderfully tactile properties.


At Ysgol Gymraeg Bro Helyg, in Blaenau Gwent they wanted to utilise their grounds to develop a new outdoor curriculum that put woodworking and construction as one of its key strands.

 The school wanted to harness their children’s intrinsic sense of curiosity whilst problem solving and accomplishing tasks with real tools. As such, several woodworking benches with vices and a large, dedicated woodworking shed were provided by Playgarden in a large outdoor woodworking area. The large woodworking area means that there is more room to move around to work, not only on small but larger constructions.


The dedicated area also means that the children can work on their constructions without distraction, concentrating on what they are doing. It was key for the school that the woodworking shed provided a space for real tools so that the children would understand the safety requirements of working with wood in this way. Tools included within the woodworking shed included; Palm Drill, Hacksaw, Woodworking Saw, Screwdriver, Hammer, Claw Hammer, Hatchet, Pincers, Clams, Nails and Screws. They were all stored and displayed within easy reach within the bespoke woodworking shelter provided by Playgarden. The use of real tools enable children to work with all their senses; to hammer, saw, bang, chop and feel what it is like to shape the wood that they are working with. At the same time breathing in the smell of freshly worked wood.
Woodworking empowers children as they take on tasks that they perceive to be the domain of the adult world. This offers an enormous sense of achievement & accomplishment as they come to realise that they are able to influence the world around them. By bringing woodwork into settings, this powerful real work is able to tap into a child’s natural interest in learning about the world around them.

To find out more about developing woodwork in your outdoors contact Playgarden or call 0114 2821285

To find out more about woodworking visit Peter Moorhouse