Is your toddler obsessed with your tools? Are they constantly trying to ‘fix’ things and ‘help’ you out? Mine is.
You can’t leave a screwdriver lying out without him trying to take apart a toy, gizmo, or another gadget he finds. Despite a lack of speech, his desire to learn and explore is incredible. And for that, I wanted to continue to encourage this behaviour but not with my tools.
I considered some of the wooden and plastic tool sets from the toy store. However, after purchasing plastic fruit last Christmas, I’ve been hesitant to purchase plastic again. Most of the plastic fruit got crushed under chairs, between doors, and by other toys. It easily shattered and broke. *womp womp.* A few suggestions on the good ol’ Facebook, suggested just getting him his own tools. That’s what I did, and why not?
One of the best ways to learn is by experiencing things in their realness. While I do value the role of imaginative play, I also have an immense appreciation for the real and the tangible in the toys I choose to give my child. For these reasons, as well as my desire to buy less plastic, and knowing my Toddler would be less than impressed with a ‘fake’ toy tools, I opted for a trip to my local hardware store.
Building a DIY Toddler Tool Set
Stop and Think about the things and activities your toddler enjoys, and could potentially enjoy. What tools does he like? My toddler most fancy’s a screwdriver, and I don’t trust him with a hammer. At the young age of two, I opted for some less threatening tool choices for his DIY Toddler Tool Set. I picked up most of this at my local hardware store and stopped into the Dollar Store to see what else I could scourge up. Other places to look include your garage, garage sales, and thrift stores.
- Mini Screw Driver: Something small is just perfect for little hands. We only have one, a flat head, but the ambition is to find more (store was sold out) to give him the skill of matching shapes when screwing.
- Safety Glasses: because of safety first.
- Measuring Tape
- Level (Dollar Store Find!)
- Kids Tool Belt
- Box of Screws, Bolts, Washers, Nuts & Things: Bigger is better for tiny hands and choking hazard risk. An assortment of bolts, nuts, and washers creates a solid 20 minutes of quiet time as he decides which way to sort, screw, and unscrew the variety of metal at hand. The goal is to create a busy board for screwing in and out of. This project will happen closer to Christmas.
The list of possibilities doesn’t stop here. There are many other things to add to a toddler tool kit!
Mallet & Tees for hammering.
Some sort of ‘saw.’
High Vis Vest
Put it all together, and you have yourself a toddler tool set! This little combo is just right for playing and learning. It is intimidating to let my toddler play with real tools, but it will be okay. We are learning what we can and cannot screw and bang while enjoying the art of measuring and levelling. This combination of activities is perfect for imaginative play while grasping some amazing motor skills.