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This blog post is part of a series called Afternoons, where I hope to answer some frequent questions I receive such as … “If you are finished by lunchtime – what do you do all afternoon?”
I mentioned we had a workshop for the kids on the gram the other day – and wow. I never expected so many people to be interested in seeing our dirty garage. If you’re expecting a fancy, super tidy, Pinterest worthy area – you will be disappointed and underwhelmed. Most days the kid’s workbench looks like it should have a caution tape perimeter and I’m almost afraid to look at their nature finds shelf for fear of something slithering out at me. I like things clean. I like things tidy. But, I do love the workbench. It stretches me, but I love it. Because we have short lessons (shout out to my girl, Charlotte Mason) the kids are able to craft, build, explore, imagine, and create during our afternoons.
Many people asked if I’m worried about the kids using tools. No. A little. Yes. Sometimes. They have limited access to the tools and have been taught to properly use the things that are available to them. So, I suppose my answer lands on no, I am not overly worried about them using the tools at their workbench. By default, they need to ask to use the things they haven’t be trained on because they are out of reach.
Another question I received was: What do you do with all those projects? The kids are allowed to keep their creations for about a week, then they either take it apart to re-use the lumber or throw it in with the firewood. Every Saturday morning they clean and tidy their workshop, recycle cardboard scraps and get ready for another week of creative building. The kids pretty much have free reign to create whatever they want, but we do like the book Wood Shop: Handy Skills and Creative Building Projects for Kids by Margaret Larson for inspiration and to learn new skills.
If you were apprehensive about giving your kids a creative space to build, I hope this has helped. I’d love to see what you come up with – tag me on Instagram @kyriezimmerman to share your workshop space and check out my Instagram Stories for a tour of our dirty garage corner.