Adam the Handyman

Adam is also a qualified Montessori teacher. Dr. Maria Montessori was the first early childhood teacher, who in the early 1900’s developed the philosophy that education was not so much about handing on knowledge, but that children constructed their knowledge from experiences in the world. Adam has built on this concept with his activity centres.

Adam, using handyman skills passed on from his father, recycles solid waste into equipment for young children. The activity centres are a cubed box standing below waist height, with one blank wall, one facing wall with the objects attached, one wall with an oval opening, and the fourth side is open. Attached are a tap, door handle, mobile phone and light switch, and other bits and pieces. It is portable and washable, made from MDF covered with melamine. The activity centres provide a link with familiar objects that the child can handle and explore. Taps are a favourite.

Another popular activity centre is the “bus” or “car”. It consists of a steering wheel on an upright piece of wood attached to a bench seat. Each object has many uses and movements, and the children experiment with them and enjoy discovering how things work and what they do.

Funding has been received from the New Zealand local government councils, enabling Adam to make hundreds of new activity centres. This funding has enabled them to be affordable and some are given away free. This work has enabled Adam to build a rapport with men, involving them in the children’s learning through helping to obtain resources. Businesses and individuals provide waste timber, paint, old taps, mobile phones, wheels and so on.

Adam runs workshops on engaging fathers and male teachers working in early childhood. Speaking engagements keep Adam busy all over New Zealand, and also in the USA.