Inspired by the TED link below, and influenced by my own childhood experiences and a radical parenting class, I allowed my 3-year old to use a real hammer and nail yesterday.
I was installing some art yesterday and my son wanted to hold the hammer. I was looking around for things he could hit and then realized that instead of him banging the carpet, I could actually show him why it’s useful!
In a short time he learned to straighten the hammer directly over the nail, and to use his weight more effectively. It was fun!
We used three small layers or drywall board (cut from 1/4 a drywall board available at the hardware store) to hammer into. It’s much easier to hammer than wood. The edges of drywall can be taped to keep the gypsum from crumbling and the paper together. These make excellent drawing boards!