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Muddy Faces

Wooden stamps

Hammering into wood - create imprints & practise tool skills. Great idea and activity for the early years woodworking area.

Art & Creating


This is a great activity for children to get the feel of how a hammer works, and to assess risk - making sure their fingers are at a safe distance from the impact area.

We use stumpy hammers because children can find full-sized ones difficult to control.

* Muddy Faces actively promotes child-led outdoor play & learning. We recognise and believe in the curiosity that children have and their drive to explore and discover. We hope that you will bear this in mind when considering more prescribed activities like this one - often much more creative ideas will occur if resources are simply provided and children are given the time and space to explore independently.

What you'll need

  • hammer
  • saw
  • log boards/counters
  • assortment of screws, nails, nuts, bolts, eyelet rivets etc. to make imprints

This activity has been provided by

Environmental Considerations

Consider the environmental impact of preparing, carrying out & completing this activity. Could this impact be reduced? Specific considerations for this activity could include:

  • source of wood

Health & Safety Considerations

Follow your usual operating procedures and carry out appropriate risk benefit assessments.
Some considerations particular to this activity include:

  • tool use
Art & Creating

Step #1 Preparation

Cut wooden counters or short poles. Take a look at our sawing activities to help with this.

Alternatively you can buy wooden counters from the Muddy Faces shop.

Art & Creating

Step #2 collecting

Collect some hard items that can be used to make imprints in the wood.

Items need to be hard and it is likely that they will become misshapen once hammered so avoid anything of value.

We used screws, nails, bolts, washers and a couple of eyelet rivets.

Art & Creating

Step #3

Place the wooden counter on a firm hard base.

Place the item you want to do an imprint of onto the counter.

Art & Creating

Step #4

Hit the object firmly with the hammer.

This is a great way for individuals to get the feel of how a hammer works and to work out if their fingers are at a safe distance from the impact area.

Top Tip:

Periodically check how far you are hammering the object in – if you hammer it too much the item may get stuck, making it difficult to remove.

Art & Creating

Step #5

Some items we hammered in intentionally to get stuck – the eyelets were great for this.


Some examples of different objects we used and the imprints they make.

Nail imprint

Bolt imprint

Screw imprint


  • try stamping into paint, clay or Plasticine – how hard do you have to hammer? What happens to the different materials?
  • try using objects to create a face or other image
  • try making imprints of all sorts of different objects.

Disclaimer: Muddy Faces cannot take any responsibility for accidents or damage that occurs as a result of following this activity.You are responsible for making sure the activity is conducted safely.

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