Maybe it’s because their parents watch at lot of House Rules and The Block. Perhaps they’re just tired of waiting for Dad to build them that much-promised cubbyhouse. Whatever the reason, more and more girls are raiding the family tool kit and lining up to learn how to build.
“When I first used a saw, I was pretty sure I’d chop my finger off or something, but our teacher explained everything we needed to know and I started off slowly,” explains Amelia, 12, who’s just started learning woodwork during technology class at her local Sydney high school. “I’ve nearly finished making my bread board and I’ve brought some off-cuts home because I want to try and turn them into something using tools from my grandpa’s collection. I love building – it’s creative and challenging and really satisfying when it works!”
Schools have been teaching woodwork for generations, but the art of building something with a bit of wood, a saw and some nails or glue is finally busting out of the classroom – and inspiring increasing numbers of girls.
“The woodwork parties we run appeal to any kid who likes doing something fun and different with their friends,” explains Josephine Azizi, co-founder of Sydney-based Built By Kidz Parties. “But what has surprised us is the majority of our bookings are birthday parties for girls. Parents tell us their daughters love creating things, and building something out of wood – using real tools – is an extension of that. They’re really good at it, too.”
When you think about it, girls and building are the perfect match. They’re usually able to concentrate and follow instructions from a young age. Girls often have excellent hand-eye coordination. Plus, they’re usually very experienced at working creatively with hands-on craft projects from a young age. And thanks to changing attitudes, they’re no longer discouraged from trying what was once a boys-only hobby.