T4Kids was started by a couple, Nicky and Fred Edwards, who are experienced engineers and now run four flourishing nurseries in Bristol and Cheltenham.
Tinkering is an activity they became involved in when two staff members attended a locally run training course encouraging practitioners to introduce real tools into their Early Years settings. The discussion prompted many questions:
- How can company owners balance the risks of this activity with the clear benefits to the children.
- How can appropriate tools and resources be sourced?
- How can the children learn that the use of real tools in nursery is different to using them at home unsupervised?.
After researching all these challenges, the couple realised that they could share their learning experience and help other settings introduce these activities too.
T4Kids can offer a 'complete solution' to Early Years setting for these practical hands-on activities.
You can buy tools targeted at this age group from many retailers, but are they the correct size and what about the resources like wood and nails? How do you introduce the activity? Many Early Years staff are not even familiar with real tools, so how can they teach the children and inspire the next generation of engineers?
We have packaged everything you need into Starter Sets and have included 'How to' user guides with all the tools, which include safety tips, conversation starters and key activity words, to help staff talk about the products and activities.To help settings introduce the activities safely, each set comes with a Safety Matters document, giving common sense suggestions on how to manage the activities in an Early Years setting.
We are passionate about the benefits to children of these activities and how our shared experience can help others introduce Tinkering safely and effectively.
Nicky & Fred Edwards on their T4Kids stand at their first Trade Show - Nursery World 2016!