My dad (who is building his house from scratch...cutting trees that needed to be cleared for the house and turning them into boards to build the house, etc.) cut a few slices of one of his trees for the girls and I this weekend. I have lots of plans for these tree slices, and we started with a fun hammering activity.
We put this large tree slice under in the shade in our front yard along with a couple of hammers and nails. The girls have had a great time hammering nails. (I never let E(1) do this activity unsupervised just in case she decides to eat a nail!) O(4) especially likes to pull nails out after she hammers them. She was pulling so hard one time that she fell backwards off the tree when the nail finally came out!
While this is not an ideal toddler activity (especially when the toddler is super tired), both girls really enjoy it, and I think we'll spend a lot of time hammering this summer. I love that they are learning so many things through this simple activity...hand/eye coordination, determination, persistence, fine motor control, concentration, etc.