Let them play . . . with axes, knives, etc.

It’s a good idea to allow kids to safely learn to use “dangerous” tools – under supervision

Earlier this year, I was forwarded a press release from our friends at The Bay 88.7 that had the title “KNIVES, AXES AND POWER TOOLS FOR KIDS? SCOUTS CANADA SAYS YES!”

Sorry for the all-caps, but that was exactly how it came in. The booming subject line title obviously done for even more impact on the idea kids should be playing with sharp instruments and power tools.

Oh, and there is encouragement to let kids also blow things up – I’m not kidding!

Well, I was definitely intrigued and reached out to the organization a for more information as to the reasoning behind this push.

Mike Eybel, who is a nine-plus year volunteer with Scouts Canada and a father of two, took time out to chat about this initiative.

Some of the main points we chatted about were based on a survey done with a focus group of 145 youth between the ages of 5 and 14, and 368 parent members, to determine what activities Canadian kids wish their parents would say ‘yes’ to.

The results were enlightening.

What Kids Want Survey    ​​

When asked which activities they wanted to do the most, kids had many creative responses

  • 55% want to blow stuff up
  • 50% want to do extreme outdoor activities (like winter camping, paddling to remote sites or staying a night in the woods alone)
  • 44% of kids want to light fireworks
  • 44% want to fly an airplane (or spaceship!)
  • 42% want to do ‘wacky science experiments.’
  • 41% want to ride a dirt bike
  • 40% want to get close to a lion or other animal (some even want to pet them.)
  • 36% would like to light a fire themselves

Kids’ Craziest ideas:

  • “Follow a bear to its lair.”
  • “Juggle daggers.”
  • “Trap a wild animal, pat it … and bring it home.”

Based on the survey results, Scouts Canada realized that many kids are interested in working with their hands and learning solid life skills by handling power tools and other so-called “dangerous instruments.”

They have come up with plans and suggestions to help parents navigate discussions and empowering their children by saying “yes” more often when asked about cutting stuff and blowing things up. As well, find out more by asking the child(ren) what is they love most about the activity – is it the sounds being made? The visuals? The results?

As well, the organization provides tips, such as identifying obstacles, planning ahead, setting safe parameters, recognizing age appropriate activities, and setting yourself up to problem-solve in real time.

Explore 150-plus activity ideas for kids of all ages on Scouts Canada’s Activity Finder.

Mike Eybel was a guest on The Chris O Show on The Bay 88.7 FM to chat more about this initiative. Have a listen below.

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