“I’m strong! I can do hammer by myself. See? This is going to be the bridge for we all build together.”
-3 year old boy at Rosa Parks Early Childhood Center.

I walked into this classroom after the FIRST MONTH of school to find children in engaged in every center around the room. And one of the things that blew my mind was the 3 year olds woodworking in the construction area!

“Bang, bang, clunk!” -The beautiful sounds of children engaged in creating that I heard that day!

WOW! And they were not hurting each other or themselves, but instead the were working together, sharing, helping one another hold the boards for stability, and learning so many valuable skills from this experience.

Woodworking Benefits

  • Fine Motor Skills by holding nails or screws in place
  • Persistence
  • Focus
  • Large Motor Skills by using arm muscles
  • Sharing and teamwork
  • Cognitive domain growth
  • Social/Emotional through confidence, respect for materials and others, and confidence
  • Math through engineering skills, measurements, and size

woodworking literacy reggio teacherhelp

Safety Considerations

  • For children under 3, be mindful of appropriate tools (I usually used the plastic tools for under 3)
  • Adult supervision required – best to have woodworking area with small group
  • Model appropriate use of tools (Have plastic to practice on own is a great idea)
  • Wear goggles
  • Start the nail for children new to woodworking
  • Allow them to try! Children are more competent than sometimes we allow.

Brilliant Idea to Start

woodworking literacy reggio provocation


  • Child size hammers
  • Screw Drivers
  • Large and small nails (with larger type head)
  • Large screws (Screw part way into wood)
  • Cardboard with letter or number written on it


Write a letter or number on cardboard and place on top of wood block. Allow child to hammer the nails to form that letter or number. As children become familiar, allow them to write their own name, letter, or design to hammer.

woodworking literacy reggio Letters

woodworking literacy reggio

There are so many fabulous explorations for woodworking with children. It is a great skill that needs to be back into the classrooms again! Thanks Rosa Parks Early Childhood Center for sharing your woodworking inspirations!

BONUS DOWNLOAD: Click here to download our e-book: Ever-Changing Environments. Discover the beautiful materials and design of Rosa Parks Early Childhood Education Center.

Comment below how you are woodworking in your classroom!

Watch a short clip with 3 year olds woodworking after the first month of school!