Power Tools for Toddlers


It’s orange and plastic — of course it’s a toy!

Boobaby loves to help me build stuff. Her favorite tool is my little cordless screwdriver, although she’s also a fan of blue painter’s tape. (Man, that stuff makes a great toy! Boo can “fix” anything with it, but it won’t mar surfaces when it comes off.)

It’s primally appealing that Boo likes to work with tools and to fix things. I’m no handyman, although I can put together Ikea furniture with the best of ’em. My most recent project was a 9-square-foot planter box, which was a real coup for me because it involved drilling and screwing and hammering. (I know, you’re all impressed!) Boobaby helped with all three, and then helped me plant the vegetables, too.

Maybe it’s just the pregnancy, but I’ve gotten teary at Boo’s accomplishments about three times daily of late. If you were to ask me what a baby’s third year is like — the “we’re-not-going-to-call-it-terrible” twos — I’d have to say that every day, every hour is a roller coaster ride. Peaks of pride follow plunges into tantrums that get more apoplectic every day. Boo erupts into stubborn patches more often and breaks down because she can’t build a tower of blocks; five minutes later she’ll be happily disassembling the armchair in her room.

Boo tried to fix the cat with her painter’s tape earlier this week, so we had to take that away for a little while. Apart from that, though, we try to give her access to every non-lethal tool there is. After all, who wants to assemble your own Ikea furniture when you can have your toddler do it?