This time I don't want to talk about using something for a different purpose. I want to focus on letting kids use things that are usually kept from them.
Kids love to use real tools. Let's think about two of those "tools."
One of my favorite "don't use that with kids" items is a hot glue gun. Teacher Tom was the first blogger/teacher that I read using these with preschoolers. I bought some and waited for the right opportunity to pull them out.
We have made wonky frames at Christmastime for the past several years. I tell kids that the end of the glue gun is hot and the glue coming out of the end is hot. That if they touch it, it will be very hot. We put out a small bowl of water so if a finger gets into the hot glue, it can plunge directly into the water. A couple of times that has happened.
"It's hot," I say. "Yes," the child says. Then we go back to work.
I can't tell you how excited the kids are to use them. And to tell parents that they got to do it.
Teacher Tom repurposed my thinking and I'm not going back.
A stapler isn't the same as a glue gun. But many times kids are told to leave it alone, to not waste the staples.
But my kids love it when it is out. We will use lots and lots of them sometimes. But that's okay.
They will staple all four sides of their books and not be able to open it. But that's okay. (They've learned about the "permanent" nature of stapling, at least.)
I keep a stapler in my bag. If someone asks about it, I'll pull it out, even if I didn't plan for them to use it that day.
I've seen kids that are 4, 5, 6, 7, and 8 that love to use the stapler. Sometimes, they surprise you - instead of making a fish book, I had a friend make a fish chain.
At some point, my thinking about staplers was repurposed. It's not just for adults; it's a tool for kids, too.
What has changed in your thinking about certain items and kids? Have you repurposed your thinking about using glue guns, staplers, or other items with young kids? Tell me about it. Maybe my thinking needs some new challenges.