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Using Tools

Updated: Jun 14, 2020

Saws, knives and hand drills - oh my!

We use a variety of tools in Forest Kindergarten.

We whittle, we carve, we sand, we dig, we saw, we paint, we hammer- we build.

Our woodworking days are preceded by discussions on tools and safety followed by small group projects. The kids are keen to be able to use such adult tools to create their own masterpieces and we talk together about the various tools we use and their intend use.

Learning how to whittle a spoon or build a birdhouse are wonderful skills however the underlying lessons of understanding what tool is needed for the job and knowing how and when to use caution is a skill that will continue to serve them throughout their lives. We want kids to feel comfortable and confidant while using tools and our low student to teacher ratio allows us to monitor them closely while they gain these new skills.

"All clear I'm working here!"

Lets our friends know we need space while we work.


Risk Management Policy

Laurel Tree Forest Kindergarten understands that risk-taking is an essential part of holistic development, when it is appropriate to the child and the environment. Appropriate risk builds resilience and develops gross motor, fine motor, proprioception and vestibular senses.

Risk Management Procedures

When a risk poses a potential hazard to a participant, a risk/benefit assessment will be completed prior to participation whenever possible. If an unknown hazard within the Forest School site develops a risk assessment will be undertaken and/or the hazard will be removed when possible. Following the completion of the risk/benefit assessment the potential hazard will be assessed to determine if the control measures adequately protect the participants from injury.

Participants are taught to assess the hazards around them. Each day at Forest School the boundaries are reviewed and discussed. Participants are encouraged to participate in discussion related to control measures that may mitigate potential hazards. When participants are engaging in an activity requiring control measures review of boundaries and agreements occur each time during use.

Participants learn to assess any potential risks and make a plan for how to undertake activities in a safer way.

Risk assessments occur prior to Forest School sessions involving potential hazards. If an unknown hazard develops and/or an injury occurs, a risk assessment will be completed to determine necessary precautions.

Click on the document below for more details on how we assess risks:

woodworking risk
Download DOCX • 17KB

Meeting Common Core State Standards in the forest!

Comprehension and Collaboration:

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.K.1 Participate in collaborative conversations with diverse partners about kindergarten topics and texts with peers and adults in small and larger groups.

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.K.1.A Follow agreed-upon rules for discussions (e.g., listening to others and taking turns speaking about the topics and texts under discussion).

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.K.1.B Continue a conversation through multiple exchanges.

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.K.2 Confirm understanding of a text read aloud or information presented orally or through other media by asking and answering questions about key details and requesting clarification if something is not understood.

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.K.3 Ask and answer questions in order to seek help, get information, or clarify something that is not understood.

Violet Hales

Katherine Mather

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