One of the things I love most about Montessori is the idea that children should do real work that involves real risk. For example, toddlers should be taught how to use knives, preschoolers should learn how to use needles, and elementary children should learn how to light matches. (You can read all about the philosophy here.)
The process of working with real tools that carry real risk conveys to children that they are capable of being careful. When they are trusted to be careful, they, in turn, learn to be careful. They also build their self-esteem and their sense of worth by receiving real trust and real respect from the adults around them. Henry once said, "You trust me to be careful, right Mama?"
Henry and Tate both use hammers to practice hammering nails into logs, but it was fun to watch Henry actually build something. We used the pieces from this woodworking kit (received as a Christmas present) to build a toy train. I was a little disappointed that most of the work was gluing the pieces together, but there was still a little hammering for reinforcement.
I'm looking forward to continuing to create these kinds of hands-on experiences for Henry and Tate as they get older and older.