In forest school, to get children to safetly use sharp tools and equipment, we practice reciting a catchy verse together with actions, to make sure that children knows and recognise the area of the tools, and how to use them. It is a practice done in UK, to ensure children can safetly function on the tools. We introduce the method in children holiday camp recently, the feedback was fantastic, children love their experience, and understand the dangerous aspect involve in using them. We didnt have to repeat the safety aspect throughout the whole experience.
A Basic Tool Talk (Using Knife as the tool)
This is a (Knife)
This is the handle of the (Knife)
This is the Sharp Edge of the (Knife)
This is the Blunt Edge of the (Knife)
I will put the cover on like this
I stand with the (Knife) like this (Put on the side of the thigh)
I walk with the (Knife) like this
I put the (Knife) down on the floor like this (Pointed edge point backwards)
I use the (Knife) to (whittle) anything smaller than (one finger radius), bigger than (wrist size)
I use the (Knife) like this (Whittling motion outwards)
When I’m using the (Knife), I make sure that I’m 1 arm and a tool length away from anyone
When I’m using the (Knife), (Wearing Gloves on the non-holding hand)
When I’m not using the (Knife), I put it back to the (Tool Box) like this
*This is a general guideline for Tool Talk, you can adapt it to the tool or situation you ar dealing with, to ensure that children can manage the tools appropriately.
This is an interesting practice to introduce children to sharp tools and knives at home. Many of us, wants to let our children use knife and tools, but we are always concern, how do they perceive the tool and its danger.
We end up giving them soft tools that doesnt have the cut strength. This gives them a false understanding of the real tool in future. Hence, an honest and sincere practice like a tool talk, could give them a better space to learn and practice on the tools.
Always make sure the child could recite the whole verse before they can use it, the excitement and novelty of using a knife or risky tool, gives most adventurous child the kick to make sure they know their tool talk.