Play Like A Woodpecker

Woodpeckers offer an excellent example of persistence for kids to learn about and practice within their play. In this activity, we invite kids to play like woodpeckers, using tools to peck their way into various materials. 

The Guide

Step 1: Watch the Tinkergarten Home "Woodpecker’s Work" video lesson.

Hop into your Tinkergarten dashboard to watch the "Woodpecker’s Work" video lesson. Kids can watch how Meghan and other explorers peck, peck peck into the winter world around them, then get inspired to play like persistent woodpeckers, too. 

Not yet signed up? Click here to sign up or to try a free Tinkergarten Home lesson.

Step 2: Gather materials for woodpecker play.

Gather a few materials kids can peck into, such as:
  • Cardboard boxes
  • Potatoes
  • Citrus
  • A pumpkin
  • Forest putty (or play-dough)
  • The ground (if it is soft enough)
Gather some tools kids can use to peck holes, such as:
  • A rock and a strong stick
  • A wooden mallet and golf tees (our favorite woodpecker play tools!)

Step 3: Model.

Model for kids how to safely use the tools to tap into the objects you gathered. To support wee ones, pre-poke some holes for them to tap into. You can also offer younger kids a chance to poke holes in a softer material like forest putty.

Step 4: Play and Support.

Offer the woodpecker tools to kids and welcome them to start pecking! As they play, slowly introduce new objects for them to peck into (e.g. an egg carton, cardboard box, forest putty, the ground, potato, citrus, pumpkin). 

Step 5: Experiment and extend.

As kids “peck" at different types of objects, welcome them to share what they notice. Are some things easier to peck than others? How are the things they are pecking into changing?

For an extra challenge, invite kids to peck shapes or designs into the materials. (See our Pumpkin Lantern DIY activity for more ideas!) Once kids have pecked a bunch of holes, what can they stick in them (e.g twigs, small stones)?

Why is this activity great for kids?

Repetitive woodpecker play gives kids all of the brain and cognitive benefits of repetition, while also giving them the chance to practice hand-eye coordination, as well as gross and fine motor skills. Learning to safely use tools to poke holes in objects allows kids to find their own limits and builds their self-confidence. And, if pecking into a certain object is challenging, kids will tap into problem solving and flexible thinking skills in order to persist!

Try a Free Lesson

T4t hero

Tinkergarten Plus or Pro

Teach Tinkergarten in your community or classroom!

Tga hero

Tinkergarten Anywhere

Enjoy Tinkergarten as a family anytime, anywhere!

Ready To Get Started?

Choose a Product

New To Tinkergarten?

Try for free Invite Friends To A Free Class