What kinds of activities do you choose for your kids? Have you ever thought of creative courses? What I am going to talk about now is not bricolage, painting, or drama. We will talk about a badass version of creative activity. The one that involves cool machines and thinking out of the box. It is called Knock On Wood, and, you guessed it, it is all about wood crafting.
If you need some convincing as to why we need to take careful care of our kids’ inborn creative thinking, I am sending you to the best ever TED talk by Sir Ken Robinson « Do SChools kill creativity ». It is the most viewed TED talk of all time! While watching, you will laugh and learn simultaneously and find out that “creativity now is as important in education as literacy”.
Ok, to the point.
THE CRAFT FACTORY
The Craft Factory, Knock On Wood’s home is a fascinating place. Located in an industrial building, big and light, with a lovely patio, it looks like a place full of opportunities. And it is! The most exciting room is just behind the red door. You’ll find some real, big, noisy machinery that helps achieve the projects born in kids’ (and adults’) imagination.
The place is a creative paradise and can open a whole new world to young participants. Woodcrafting is great for them. Practising eye-hand coordination to the point they understand that the tool they’re holding is the extension of their hand. There is lots of fine and gross motor skills involved and the discovery that they can create. Some kids tend to go towards more engineering projects; others will discover the artistic side of wood-crafting. Manual abilities, making with our hands, is even more critical now, in the digital era. Using our hands, seeing them create objects is beneficial for the mind and self-confidence, too.
During the first lessons, they will get to know the tools, the wood, the rules by completing simple projects. They can swipe through the menu to get inspired or come with their own ideas. Their lovely teacher, Lalo, will be there to assist, teach, and help.
The best part of the game? Each project will need some problem solving, and not every project will finish as they imagined – and this is beautiful! Not receiving the expected result is not a failure. It’s not an embarrassment. It’s discovering what or how not to do next time. What we commonly call a mistake can be a learning curve. And, as Sir Ken Robinson says, “If you’re not prepared to be wrong, you’ll never come up with anything original”.
WHO IS IT FOR
How old do kids need to be to use saws and other cutting devices?
The general rule is that they can start at the age of 8, but parents’ presence is advised and alone when they are 10 yo. I love this idea and think this is a great activity that families can do together. Just imagine working on a project together: doing decorations, toys, or a cat house. Every family member will have a role to play. It is such an excellent opportunity to see our children in action and to bond.
It is an excellent activity for the whole family and older children. It is a fantastic opportunity for teens to put away screens and make-create.
Knock On Wood also offers camps during school holidays. I especially loved how teen camps were created. Zsuzsanna, the founder of Knock on Wood, went through the teen phase with her kids already, so she knows how hard it is to get them up when school is off. She knew that for them, the camp could not start early in the morning. She knows how to talk to them and get them motivated. The same goes for the teachers of younger kids – they are gentle, fun and incredibly patient.
Just careful: these camps get booked out really fast.
The advantage of enrolling with Knock On Wood is their space, machines and materials. Once your child or family is ready for a bigger or more complex project, Knock On Wood has everything you need – tools, materials, and know-how.
I encourage you to try it out, bond, create and see the creative spark in your child’s eye.
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