Hammer & Nail Skills for Kindergarten

28 May 2023

One of the activities that the kindergarten teachers like to do with their students in the makerspace is to have them learn how to use a hammer. In the past the teachers started with a mallet and had the students pound a ball of Play Doh until it fills a circle on the workbench. I have skipped that step this year and had students go straight to using a real hammer with real nails. This is a project that I adapted from a post I saw in the Elementary STEM Teachers Facebook Group, where I get a lot of ideas.

The basic idea is to have students decide on a shape, hammer nails into a piece of wood in an outline, and use yarn to make the shape. Our fabulous kindergarten teacher Karien suggested that we begin with having students make their shape on a geoboard, as the pegs would help the students to visualize where the nails will go. The star was a popular shape with Karien’s students.

The students then transferred their shape to a sticky note, making dots where the nails go. We used sticky notes because I found a log and cut it into slices, and they were about the size of the sticky notes. Then the students stuck the paper to the wood and hammered in the nails. They used clothespins to hold the nails in order to keep their fingers from getting smashed if they missed the nail.

When the students had all their nails in they began adding the yarn to the nails to make their shape, with the help of Nadine Levone.

A few of the final results.