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Breakwater Parent Education and Professional Development

(not) Running with Scissors- Letting Your Child Use Real Tools Safely

with Shaun Aylward


Injury prevention plays a key role in keeping children safe, but emerging research suggests that imposing too many restrictions on children’s explorations hinders their development. The maker’s movement has inspired attention to the benefits in allowing children opportunities to use real tools and materials to explore, discover and create.

Breakwater’s tinkering teacher will share his expert experience balancing the priorities of risky opportunities and children’s safety for optimal child development. Multiage students will model tool use and protocols!

Practical tips and hands-on experiences to help participants 

  • briefly discuss about what is "ok dangerous" and what is irresponsibly or inappropriately dangerous
  • better understand the benefits of allowing children to do risky things
  • gain some practical language and skills to help their children or students judge the safety of different situations on their own; be aware of and handle their own bodies in space; create and enter contractual agreements with children around safety and safe use of tools
  • use some of the tools themselves that children are using at Breakwater

About the instructor:
Shaun is an artist, human ecologist, and educator. After studying at the College of the Atlantic, Shaun taught sailing, built museum exhibits, worked as a production baker, fine furniture maker, musician, visual artist, and finally, spent three years as an upholsterer before returning to school to complete his Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) at the Maine College of Art. Shaun’s mission at Breakwater is to resource the curiosity of children, believing that elaborating on and synthesizing expressions of curiosity promotes (plural and simultaneous kinds of) growth by illuminating mosaics of relatedness. Additionally, Shaun is an avid lepidopterist and active member of the Maine Entomological Society.

  • May 12th, 2018
    Sat from 6:00 - 8:00 pm

Breakwater Campus

856 Brighton Avenue
Portland, ME 04102 Get directions

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