Kids enjoy doing real work and they want the tools that can actually get a job done. Can you imagine trying to cut a carrot with a plastic knife or play a song on a 12 in electric toy piano or hammer a nail with a plastic hammer? Well, they feel the same frustration we do. With a few lessons on how to care for and be safe with real tools, children can enjoy hours of fun creating and feeling the great satisfaction of "real" work. We built a little work bench for the kids with their help using scrap wood from the yard so they would have a space of their own to work. Now they have a place to put all their tools and work on projects when they want. It is amazing how many hours in a day they can spend out there hammering away. The other night my 4 year old got up from the dinner table and whispered in my hear "Mommy, is it o.k. if I go down stairs? I have some work to do." A few minutes later we heard the beautiful sharp sounds of a hammer hitting a nail . We smiled at each other because we knew how content and happy he was in that moment. All it took was a hammer, a few nails and some wood. And as an added bonus, these are all things you probably already have in your house. So no need to go shopping. And when you buy "real" things for kids, you can avoid those dreaded toy stores and all those brightly colored plastic toys decorating your floors.