Tool safety


A simple activity to raise awareness of tools, their uses and how to work with them safely.

  • Estimated time: 30 minutes
  • Location: Outdoors & Indoors
  • School term: All year round
  • Level of experience: No experience needed
  • Subject(s): PSHE, Art&DT

Learning objectives

  • Identify a range of tools
  • Use tools correctly and safely
  • Choose the correct tool for the task


Gather pupils together in a circle with the tools in middle either stored in a bucket or wheelbarrow, or on a nearby bed.


  • A range of hand or full size tools, including one that is unsafe or broken
  • A bucket, tray or wheelbarrow to store tools safely 
  • A cleaning brush and gloves
  • Paper and pens or pencils

Step by step

  1. Explain that gardeners need tools to help them with their gardening tasks.
  2. Ask a learner to pick up a tool and guess what it is used for in gardening. Let them have a practice with it in a bed or growing area.
  3. Name the tool and its gardening uses - ask a pupil to demonstrate how it is used.
  4. Repeat this with other tools and let other children have a turn.
  5. Discuss why it is sensible to have a safe area where tools are stored when not in use, located by a tool stop sign.
  6. Demonstrate how to carry and work with tools safely,and to clean off tools with a brush at the end of a session.
  7. Ask learners to pick out the broken tool and state why it is unsafe to use.

Hints & tips

  • Revisit your tool safety rules every time a garden session takes place
  • Nominate a tool monitor each session to count out tools and count them back in again

We've won awards!

Winner of the Drum Marketing Awards 2017
Winner of the ERA 2017 awards
Winner of the Third Sector 2017 awards