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T is for Terrific Tools

Last updated on 12/08/2019

Life has been a little crazy at my house, because we have taken on a few more projects around the house. My husband and I have been trying to resurface our deck, and rebuild our fence. This has been going ok, but not quite as planned. Watching my daughters help my husband with his many projects, has showed me that kids have an interest in using tools. This reminded me of all those little boys and girls that used to love to pretend to pound with plastic hammers, and build with blocks. That is why I thought tools or Construction would be an awesome classroom theme.

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Hammer Prints

Need: White Paper, plastic hammers, paint, tarps, and cool whip lids, or yogurt lids. Any plastic covers work well for paint wheels.

This project is a lot of fun, but watch out for the mess. The best two ways I would recommend are putting the tarp down on the floor giving each child their own space, and letting them pound the hammer onto the paper to create their own art work. A variation of this would be to draw dots onto a piece of paper into a shape and have them pound the painted hammer on each spot like it was a nail to make dot art with a hammer.

Popsicle stick Houses

Need: Light blue paper, Popsicle sticks, glue, and crayons to finish off the picture.

I show the kids how to create a house out of Popsicle sticks on the paper. Using the Popsicle sticks to make a square. and then filling it in with Popsicle sticks. Adding a roof with them too, by making a triangle with them. Then I let them draw in the back ground stuff and if they want you could even let them paint their houses with real paint, or just with markers depending on the age.

Light pictures

Need: Foam Boards, golf tees, plastic hammers, black paper, white crayons or chalk.

For this I prep black papers, by drawing dots onto the black papers using white crayons or chalk. Then you give each of them a foam board. Tape the black paper to the foam board. Then I tell them to pound the golf tees into the dots. The foam board is to protect your tables or floors. After they have pounded all the golf tees through, have them pull out the golf tees. Take it off the foam board. Finally hang the picture on a sunny window. As the light shines though they will see the picture. A glow picture.



Need: Square wood boards, nails, hammers, and rubber bands.

For this I would take simple blocks of wood, and make your own geo boards by pounding nails in where the prongs would be. Then giving the kids elastic rubber bands that they can use to recreate different shapes, using the pegs.

One to One Correspondance:

Need: Styrofoam blocks (ones from refrigerator and appliance boxes work great), golf tees, Sharpies, and plastic hammers. ( I like to look at rummage sales for tool sets. ) Other wise Walmart has a wide variety of reasonable priced tool sets.

I draw dots onto the Styrofoam blocks. Once I have the Styrofoam blocks marked, I let the kids use the plastic hammers to pound their golf tees into the Styrofoam blocks. You could have the golf tees make letter, numbers, or shapes. After they are done pounding their golf tees. I ask them to tell me what shape, number, or letter, they made.

Measuring Tools:

Use a tape measure to measure various tools such as hammers, screw drivers, nails, screws, and or pieces of pre-cut wood.

Counting Tools

How many tools go in my tool box?

This could be a worksheet, but I usually made it a center. I would have paper cut out tool boxes wrote numbers on them and then cut out tools and laminate to last longer. If you need a good laminator, I got my small one from Walmart, and it works fabulous! (The best part is it only cost $21.88.)Then I put the tool boxes out on a table and the kids have to put the right number of tools in each tool box.  If you would like my printables for these, check out my teachers pay teachers site.


Scientific Tools-

For Science I bring out as many science tools that I have in the classroom, scales, magnifying glasses, microscopes, goggles, beakers, and test tubes. We talk about each tool and what it is good for. Then I let them experiment with them. I spread them out into centers, where they can take turns looking at a bug or a piece of wood under a microscope so that they can see the lines in the wood. I do a similar thing with magnifying glasses. Then I have colored water that I let them use the test tubes and beakers to mix with . This could also be a science experiment of mixing colors.

Social Studies

Construction Workers:

For this I like to read books about construction crews, especially ones that build a houses. They tend to use the tools that they are most used to. Construction crews could also be a whole new themed week, if you started talking about big machines. For the purpose of this unit, I am sticking to small tools.

Field Trip:

To a construction site of a new house, or other building.


Visit a local carpenter, and have him show the kids some tools and other items a carpenter uses. Maybe even see if he would be willing to let the kids do a simple activity, like sanding something.

Language Arts


Old McDonald had a work shop-

A great book about a large variety of tools, and it works on recognizing sounds that the tools make. I found the book at

Letter T and C

Tracing Printables

Tracing printables of letters P, J, H, and S. If you go to my teachers pay teachers website I have printables all ready for you. Click here and it will take you to my account.

Language Experience Story-

For this particular unit, I like to do a Language experience story about one of their field trips. I try to encourage whoever, we visit to discuss safety around tools. When we get back from the field trip I like to have the students help me write a story to tell our parents about tool safety. This way they review what they learned on their field trip and they are sharing it with their parents.

Physical Education

Construction worker walk

Need: A long plank board

Have the kids practice walking across the wood plank like a construction worker working on a tall tower.

Shadow Tools Sort

need: plastic tools, makers, tag board or card stock, and cones.

I trace around a hammer, a screw driver, a saw, a board, and a wrench. Then I lay as many tools out as possible. I tape the shadow outlines onto cones and spread them out into different areas of the gym. Then I divide the kids into two groups. Then I encourage the kids to sort the tools into the right area of the gym.

For some pre-made cards to help with this activity, please visit my Teacher Pay Teacher Site. Click here, and it will take you to it.


Marshmallow and pretzel buildings

For this simple snack, I give the kids each a handful of pretzels and mini marshmallows. Then I encourage them to use the marshmallows to be a construction worker and build their own creative snacks structures.

To change it up you could use cheese cubes, or cut up cubes of ham or summer sausage. All of these items work .

Dramatic Play

Wood Working Center-

Need: Tool boxes, Aprons, plastic tools, wood blocks, Styrafoam blocks, tape measures, paint brushes and cans, Chalk Paint. I also like to have a work bench of some sort. I got a few from a rummage sale that were hand me downs from a house full of older boys. I also like to include some gardening gloves that look like work gloves, some plastic hard hats, and even some work boots if you can find them in kids sizes. Again, rummage sales are the best for this type of thing.

Sensory Table

Saw Dust-

I would get all kinds of different plastic construction trucks so that the kids can push around or dump saw dust. I also make sure to have kids protection goggles at the sensory table for SAFETY. We use the word safety A LOT in this unit.

Fine Motor

Need: Wood Blocks, screws and screw drivers

I take the liberty of starting a few screws on a board, some with a philip and some with a flat head. Then we talk about matching the screws and the screwdrivers.

Nuts and Bolts:

Oriental trading has an awesome set of nuts and bolts that are various colors, shapes, and sizes. You could have these as a fine motor activity practicing matching shapes, or sizes, or colors. I had these when I was teaching unfortunately I had to leave them with my classroom. However, if you would like a set, here is the link to it at Oriental trading. (This is an affiliate link, and if you do decide to buy this item I may receive a small commission at no cost to you. Understand that I will not recommend anything that I have not used or feel is extremely beneficial.)


Johnny works with one hammer

Johnny works with one hammer, one hammer, one hammer(move one arm up and down) Johnny works with one hammer, now he works with two. (Repeat with two,(left arm) three (right leg) four (head), five (whole body) at and of five you sing Johnny works with 5 hammers now the work is done.)

1 little, 2 little, 3 little hammers

1 little, 2 little, 3 little hammers, 4 little, 5 little 6 little hammers, 7 little 8 little 9 little hammers, 10 little hammers building.

1 little 2 little 3 little toothed saws, 3 little 4 little 5 little toothed saws, 7 little 8 little 9 little toothed saws, 10 saws cutting wood.

1 little 2 little 3 little hard hats, 4 little 5 little 6 little hard hats, 7 little 8 little 9 little hard hats, 10 hard hats protect our heads.


This is something that I did special for this unit. I didn’t always deck out my room, but this unit lent itself to it. I would put caution tape up around the door frames. Right now I found caution tape at the dollar tree for Halloween, which was a lot cheaper then I bought mine for.

I also went to the dollar tree and discovered bright orange cones 2 for a buck. I used them to mark off the block area.


This is a great unit to work into a school year if you have a lot of boys, or very active little girls.  Construction unit is also great to do if your school is having some construction done. For further activities and printables check out my teachers pay teachers site. I love adding to my collection of ideas for this unit, so if you have a new tools idea, I would love to hear about it.

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