I once saw this Waldorf School video where the students had learned to make hammer dulcimers in woodshop. Not one hammer dulcimer, as a group, but each and every student made one herself.-- It blew my mind!
Since seeing that video, I've been wondering how we're going to teach our kids woodworking. I never took woodshop in public school, and I've never really built anything. I've taken a car engine apart, with heavy supervision, but my own experience with wielding a hammer is more about hanging pictures or whacking wind-tossed birdfeeders back together. A hammer dulicimer is a bit beyond my reach... at least for now.
Einstein, on the other hand, is pretty handy with a hammer. He never took woodshop either, but this week he has been banging together garden planters and bookshelves. And where there's noise, Sunburst will follow.
Yesterday she asked him if she could use the hammer. She eyed a long piece of wood he had sitting out and asked him to cut it into 4 pieces. He randomly cut it and gave them to her, and then showed her how to hammer a nail. "Softly tap it at first, until the nail sticks in without needing to be held. Then move your hand out of the way and bang it."
Originally, Sunburst wanted to hammer two boards together, side by side, in one horizontal plane. But then, after realizing that was incredibly difficult, she began to nail the boards together perpendicular. Einstein left her to her devices, and came back awhile later to supervise. He told her, "When you hit yourself with the hammer, that's when you'll really learn how to hammer."
She turned to him and said, "Oh, I've already hit myself Dad. See, I've got a blood blister, but it doesn't hurt."
She managed to whack 5 boards together in all. Can you guess what she made?