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Kids get hands-on opportunity with construction equipment

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Posted at 5:41 PM, Jul 12, 2023

HELENA — It’s never too early to start thinking about what you might want to do when you get older. This Wednesday morning a group of 3–5-year-olds had the chance to get their hands on some big kid demolition equipment.

“This is what makes my camp come alive is community businesses that will come and take their time, they’re busy, but they came and took their time to make it come alive for these kids,” says Darla Jackson, owner and teacher at Child’s Play Preschool.

Around a dozen or so kids are taking part in construction camp this week. These kiddos have had fun mimicking and learning about what construction crews do on a day-to-day basis. But this Wednesday they had a chance to see firsthand the equipment adults use out in the field.

Trey Griffith, Chief Estimator for Freedom Fabrication & Excavation helped organize this hands-on experience. His son is attending construction camp this week and he knew he had the resources to bring construction camp a true hands-on experience.

“And to at least spark a curiosity and an interest and let ’em touch and feel and experience the kinesthetic part. You know, like Connor was talking about, the first time you sit in a piece of equipment and you hear the rumble and you see the hydraulics work, it kind of clicks, at least in our heads. But hopefully in one of those kids, you know, sparks an interest,” says Griffith.

Jackson says that it’s great for young children to get exposed to all sorts of interests and career paths at an early age.

“Every opportunity we can bring the world to them through preschool is great, boys and girls. You see I had a lot of boys in this camp, but I had girls too. And every year, I seem to have more girls and I love that, that girls can know they can run big equipment just like guys can, you know, so,” says Jackson.

As for the kids MTN talked to, they seemed pretty stoked on getting to experience real-life equipment first-hand in a safe environment. And the biggest hit of the day was surely the excavator with all of its limitless scooping capabilities.