What do large appliances and golf tees have in common? A lot, if you're trying to create a safe space for your little tool-inclined construction worker. Kids love to pound and smash just about anything, and that includes your favorite items around the house. Have you ever noticed how a young boy can make a hammer out of anything? Give him a stick, he'll turn it into a hammer. Give him a wooden spoon, and he's hammering away on your wall. So here's a fun idea to let him go crazy with his hammering ways without destroying your house!
The next time you order something large from an appliance store, and you've got a big piece of Styrofoam lying around, don't throw it out. Gather up some old golf tees and a toy hammer and you've got a great activity that will keep him pounding away!
What You Need:
- Large chunk of Styrofoam
- Golf tees
- Hammer (preferably the kind for kids)
- Table surface
What You Do:
- Take a large chunk of Styrofoam and place it on a surface low enough for your child to reach comfortably. (he floor would probably work best for this activity).
- Give your child a cup of old golf tees and let them practice placing them into the Styrofoam with one hand, their hammer in the other. It may take them awhile to get the hang of pounding something so small into something so big, without banging their fingers!
- The best thing is this activity is relatively quiet (the Styrofoam doesn't make much noise) and it actually helps your child build up his fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination. When they tire of golf tees, look around the house for items that can be hammered into the Styrofoam. Try chopsticks, pencils or even old crayons.
- The risk with Styrofoam is that there is always the potential for a mess, so make sure your chunk of Styrofoam is solid enough that it won't break into a million pieces.
- When he's done, he'll have made a masterpiece sculpture to boot!
Lisa M. Cope is a freelance writer who focuses on parenting and child development issues, among many others. She is the mother of two boys, ages five and two.