Saturday, October 29 2016


Hà Nội children put to work with wood

Update: September, 14/2016 - 09:00
Handmade toys: First prize winners and their handiwork. — VNS Photo Hong Van
Viet Nam News

HÀ NỘI — More than 50 kids and their parents joined an event themed “Playday – Learn to be a carpenter” held by non-profit Think Playground and learning centre Live and Learn last weekend in Hải Dương Province.

The kids attended a short workshop on carpentry, which introduced the basic tools needed in designing and making wooden items like axes, screws, pincers and hand saws. They also learned how to use them with the help of event organisers.

“We want kids to work with a type of material which is highly practical and familiar to them. That’s why we choose wood.” said Chu Kim Đức, architect and co-founder of Playgrounds.

“On the other hand, they must be very careful while working with those tools, which they were almost never allowed to use,” said Đức.

“In addition, we hope that they will pick up some good traits like patience, self-discipline and attention to detail,”

Nearly 30 kids aged under 14, many of whom were girls, participated in a contest to make wooden toys.

Following their supervisors’ instructions, the kids learned to use tools to attach two wooden panels; to measure wooden pieces and use a hand saw to adjust the size if needed.

“This is the first time my kids learned the work of a carpenter. It’s also my first time,” said Quản Phương Dung from Hoàn Kiếm District, Hà Nội.

“Working together is very exciting. It helps to boost the bond between me and my kids,” said Dung.

“It’s fun to work as a carpenter,” said Tài Lâm while using a pen to mark off measurements on wooden pieces for his toy. 

“I made a little house all by myself today. I also made some new friends,” exclaimed Nguyễn Minh Anh from Đống Đa District.

“I may start working on a small chair when I return home,” said Thành Đạt from Ba Đình District.

After three hours, the kids were asked to hand in their finished items for the contest. With pride, smiles and satisfaction, they proudly presented cars, trucks, robots, windmills and houses, all made by their own tiny hands.

In cities, there is rarely a space for meaningful and healthy outdoor activities for children to enjoy the natural environment. Creating a meaningful playground like this event for kids to observe, study and play with their parents is beneficial for their development, according to Playgrounds.

Think Playgrounds and its partners are planning to hold more events to nurture the love of manual work amongst children and to encourage them to create toys for themselves, according to Đức.

“This type of event is still rare in Việt Nam. By implementing this initiative, we aim to provide kids with an opportunity to experience working as a carpenter so they may learn to appreciate the value of hard work in life,” he said. 

“Some kids had minor accidents but they learn from them and are aware of the risks of working with these tools,” said Đức.

Think Playgrounds is a non-profit organisation with a vision to seek simple and effective measures to create free playgrounds for children living in cities. Since its foundation in 2014, the organisation has built 22 playgrounds for children in and out of Hà Nội. –VNS


Teamwork: Two kids working together on a project during the event. Creating playgrounds that encourage city-kids to learn life skills and nurture their creativity is becoming more and more important in modern society. — VNS Photo Hong Van

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