Kids spend the day getting hands-on with tools

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Children aged eight to 12 had a chance to try out different tools during a PD day workshop at Ottawa's Tool Library.

The Tinkering School PD Day Camp allows children to leave with a completed project at the end of the day, while learning how to use a variety of tools.

Eight-year-old Georgia is using a saw for the first time ever: "It's fun."

She's building a bee house, but during Friday's workshop, kids had a choice of also building a bird or bat house.

"I decided to make a birdhouse, because I thought my cat would like watching birds," says energetic eight-year-old Mark. He also learned the importance of measure twice, cut once.

"If you don't measure correctly, you're not going to build a birdhouse."

Retired high school teacher Duncan Vipond volunteers his time to help the children with the tools.

"This is something I've always enjoyed, and to see children using their hands is something very worthwhile."

The day camp is held at the Ottawa Tool Library, and as founder Bettina Vollmerhausen explains, "This is a magic place in Ottawa. It is a tool library where people can come and borrow tools instead of books."

Anyone can borrow tools, but you do need to become a member. A membership is available for as little as a one-month commitment, which is perfect if you're doing a short DIY project.

"We have over 2,000 tools here, and they range from hand tools, power tools, kitchen tools and gardens tools."

Vollmerhausen is a co-founder who started the library because of her friend who needed a tool just for one project.

"He was lamenting the fact that he had to buy a tile cutter, because it was cheaper to buy the item than rent."

The library also offers workshops and space to work on projects for adults.

"We also actually provide access to knowledge and skill; we're really keen on wanting people to learn how to use all these amazing tools in our inventory."

Vollmerhausen explains that's it's not just a finished project the kids take home.

"When these kids hold their project in their hand… you're so proud and confident; you're just like, I made this."

The Ottawa Tool Library is located at 250 City Center Ave. The next PD day workshop is in April.

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