Personal disclaimer: When my son turned 5 my husband and I gave him an axe. He chopped some firewood, chopped some twigs and branches, and later chopped down a few small trees. He is now a grown man and has all his fingers and toes…..well…. he does have a small scar on one toe…..but it doesn’t show much.
So in my life as an ECE I am not too worried about giving kids real tools. Thus it is that I provide hammers and knives for kids to use. Implements of destruction. And therefore a ton of fun.
No one cut themselves, no one hammered another kid. OK, one kid cut her finger with a knife, but seriously, I was more upset than she was.
Of course I am not advocating letting kids run amok with knives, supervision and precautions are needed.
I have found that when the expectation is that kids will be trusted to do the right and safe thing, chances are pretty good they will do just that.
What real stuff do you allow children to take risks with?