My favorite books and supplies to start our preschool year!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

T is for Tools

alphabet under construction

  • Read Alphabet Under Construction by Denise Fleming … what a cute book! A mouse uses several tools and techniques to construct the ABCs.

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  • Tile the letter T … just like the mouse in the book!
    1. Cut out a large block-style T from heavy paper or thin cardboard (like a cereal box)
    2. Use a tape measure or ruler to measure your T (just like the mouse “measures the M”)
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    3. Paint the T with a mini roller if you want (just like the mouse “rolls the R”). Try a little paint roller like this! Or check your local hardware store. 
    4. Let dry. Or skip painting altogether.
    5. Cut out 1” squares of colorful scrapbook paper (or use real 1” tiles!)
    6. Glue the tiles onto your T (just like the mouse “tiles the T” in the book)

building a house

  • Read Building a House by Byron Barton … my 2-year-old daughter loved this book the first time we read it. Bright pictures and a very simple story explaining how a house is built from the ground up!
  • Tool Song … what a perfect, fun song to sing for Tools! To the tune of “Here we go round the Mulberry bush” Click here for music.


    This is the way we pound our nails,
    pound our nails, pound our nails,
    This is the way we pound our nails, so early in the morning.

    This is the way we turn the screw,
    Turn the screw, turn the screw
    This is the way we turn the screw, so early in the morning.

    This is the way we saw the wood
    saw the wood, saw the wood,
    This is the way we saw the wood, so early in the morning!

    This is the way we build a house,
    build a house, build a house.
    This is the way we build a house so early in the morning!


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  • Take a Tool Game
    1. Gather several tools (or borrow some from a friend!)
        hammer screwdriver tape measure
        wrench sand paper pliers
        ratchet level drill
    2. Talk about what each tool does and let the kids handle each one. Of course, you should also talk about how to be safe with each one!
    3. Place the tools on a cookie sheet and cover with a cloth.
    4. Have the kids close their eyes and remove one of the tools.
    5. Say the following rhyme:


      Tools are useful, as useful as can be!
      One tool is missing. Which one can it be?


    6. See if the kids can guess which tool is missing (even if they guess, “the one that pounds nails!” or “the one that makes things smooth!”)
    7. Show them the tool and repeat!

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  • Hammering Tees
    1. You’ll need a large piece of styrofoam.
      • TIP: You can cover the surface with packing tape to cut down on small, loose pieces making a mess … or use a large lump of clay!
    2. Use a tool perfect for pounding … a toy hammer!
    3. Hammer several golf tees into the styrofoam, they will pound in easily.
    4. For extra fine motor practice, let your kids try balancing a marble on the top of each tee!
    5. NOTE: we didn’t have styrofoam or tees, so we hammered screws into a big cardboard box. Worked just as well and the kids loved it!

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  • Home Depot Kids Workshop
    1. Don’t forget about this free kids workshop offered the first Saturday of each month from 9am - 12 noon.
    2. My kids love love love going to the kids workshop every month. They are sooo kid (and parent) friendly.
    3. Home Depot gives the kids a free apron, project pin, wooden project kit and supplies all of the tools needed (hammers, glue, nails, sandpaper…) to make the project.
    4. Check out the next upcoming project here.
    5. NOTE: Lowe’s also offers kids workshops. Info here. We just don’t have a Lowe’s nearby.

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