Using Tools

Category:  Developing Talents

Duration:  1 session


  • Some 2 X 4 pieces of wood amounting to 1 foot per girl (to save money you can ask ward members for wood scraps – they don’t all have to be the same)
  • A couple of sharpies
  • One long bolt and a nut for each girl (that can go through the thinnest part of the board)
  • 3-4 hammers
  • 3-4 screwdrivers
  • Miscellaneous screws and nails
  • 2-3 levels
  • 2-3 wrenches
  • At least two framed pictures
  • Sign that says “Lefty Loosey, Righty Tighty”


  • Cut the wood into 1 foot lengths
  • Predrill each piece of wood all the way through with a hole big enough for the bolt
  • Predrill each piece of wood with a hole big enough for the screw (just an inch deep for this one)


1. As the girls come in, have them write their names on their piece of wood

2. Divide the groups into 4 groups.

3. Have the girls rotate between 4 stations:

Station 1:  Hammer and Nail

The girls can learn how to hammer nails into their boards.  This station was the most fun.  I had a ton of leftover roofing nails from a previous project so I let them use as many as they wanted. You can also have them practice removing a few, too.

Station 2:  Screwdriver and Screw

Have the girls screw the screw into their boards.  Some girls didn’t see the pre-drilled hole and managed to get their screw into their boards anyway!  Point to the “Lefty Loosy, Righty Tighty” sign to remind the girls what direction the screw turns.

Station 3:  Leveling

Have the girls work with the levels to get the pictures level.  Have them take the pictures complately off and then put them back on again a few times to practice.

Station 4:  Nut and bolt

I had designed this to have the girls use wrenches but most of them used their hands instead!  Maybe
have two girls work together to get it tightened as tight as possible.

Tips & Tricks:

  • Having this activity at a home is ideal if you want to do the “practice leveling” activity, but you could also get some of those picture hangers that temporarily stick to the walls of the church building.
  • Bring pictures of various sizes/weights to make the leveling a little more challenging.
  • If enough adults are available have another station to work with a drill.
  • Have the hammer station outside if possible. We had it in the garage because it was raining and it was LOUD!
  • A screw with soap on it is easier to turn, so you could bring a bar of soap along, too.
More Ideas:
  • Bring some extra tools along to learn more tool names and uses.
  • Follow up with a construction activity to use their skills, such as building a bird housestilts, foot racers, or easels for the Sunday School teachers to use!
  • If you have a bit of time left over, discuss these fun phrases:
    • PHRASE – meaning – where it came from
    • A SCREW LOOSE – not making sense – the early Industrial Revolution – if a machine was not working properly, there was often a screw loose
    • HITS THE NAIL ON THE HEAD – does or says the perfect thing – if you hit a nail square on the head, it goes in straight; if you miss a bit, you bend the nail
    • YOU’VE GOT YOUR WORK CUT OUT FOR YOU – you have a lot of work to do- woodworking (or dress-making) pieces have been cut out and now must be put together
    •  DEAD AS A DOORNAIL – quite dead – nails through doors were purposely bent to withstand constant opening and closing, but that meant the nails could never be reused
    • FLY OFF THE HANDLE – go into a fit of rage – when an axe is swung so hard and fast that the head comes right off the handle.
    • ON THE LEVEL – honest, true – when a level shows a surface to be level, or “true”
    • RULE OF THUMB – loose rule -refers to using one’s thumb as a rough measure (the tip of a thumb to its first knuckle is roughly an inch; the distance from one’s nose to a fingertip is roughly a yard – that’s how people used to measure fabric!)

Source: Kirstie Van Auker

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