With always something to do on the Rock Farm, it is inevitable that the Little Helpers want to get involved. Sometimes they take it even further, and decide that they would rather work on their own projects. They frequently have projects on the go, and I must admit that I had forgotten how fortunate they are.
In New York, they are creating an Adventure Playground for kids – and I think it looks a lot like the Rock Farm. http://www.nytimes.com/2016/05/29/nyregion/on-governors-island-mountains-of-junk-where-children-find-adventure.html
Whilst some of their ideas are inspired by such wonderful books as “The Dangerous Book for Boys, by Conn Igguiden, many are their own creation.
I am a big fan of the boys getting their hands dirty. I have a good collection of hand tools, old timber and various ‘resources’ others might term ‘junk’. The boys know which tools they’re allowed to use, and which ones they need to ask permission for.
I must admit I occasionally get nervous when they ask to borrow my tools. I am working on solving that one, by buying them some tools of their own. They like nothing more than using their tools to help me with my projects.
Last year they decided that they would make some bows. It was a good fun activity, but the Rock Farm is distinctly lacking in Yew, meaning that we used wattle and then pine branches to make our bows.
It didn’t work out too well.
Other jobs the boys have taken on is the construction of a ladder into their cubby house. I might have provided a little bit of guidance, as the Little Helpers don’t tend to use tools such as tape measures or pencils too much.
Most hand tools are pretty safe to use. The worst the kids will do is cut themselves. It is modern power tools that scare me. A circular saw will take off a thumb in the blink of an eye. I love seeing them get out there and use the traditional tools.
But of course, with all things, the kids need adequate supervision.
You might be able to do it all in New York… but I’m happy enough knowing that we have all we need right here 🙂