The girls and I were very fortunate to have been invited to the opening party of a new creative space and craft shop in Marikina City called TATY. That stands for Thrive And Trove Yard! Formerly known as Woak PH on Instagram, TATY is essentially a kids’ maker studio that promotes skill-building activities and provides space for children to navigate risk as well as develop grit in art and making.
You don’t see a lot of kids’ learning spaces in Manila where they are allowed to use real tools and do actual carpentry work. But in TATY, children as young as three are taught to handle hammers and nails. Sounds a little dangerous, you say? Guia, part-owner of TATY, and her team guide their students very well and have developed their own tried and tested techniques on how to make their projects safe and manageable for little hands.
The project for that day was to make a mini wooden planter for a DIY herb garden. Wooden parts were pre-sawed but it was up to the kids to assemble the pieces together using screws and nails, as well as decorate them with paint and wooden accessories. All the tools were provided, including protective eye goggles and apron. The workshop started off with safety first guidelines then they were given some time to get comfortable handling the tools and nailing scraps of wood together. It was super adorable watching the much younger participants go at it with their little hammers!
Some kids took longer than others but nobody was rushed. Guia respected everyone’s pace and readily lent a hand to anyone who needed it. Parents who were watching on the sidelines were allowed to give assistance but were encouraged to let their kids figure things out on their own.
During the workshop and as the team behind TATY spoke about their goals and dreams for the space, I saw that, in the heart of it all, they are working to create a healthy and liberating learning environment for the whole family. TATY is meant to be a space for children to thrive and freely explore their creativity but also for parents to learn to give their children ample space to flourish on their own. Letting kids make mistakes and messes is a big part of the process. Failure is a jump off point for innovation and creation instead of a barrier to success.
I truly enjoyed witnessing it all and having my girls try their hands on some basic woodworking. They were quite proud of what they made and were also pretty amazed that they did it on their own. Now that they have their own set of tools, they’ve been brainstorming on what other projects to do at home!
TATY offers workshops in their studio regularly and they also run an online shop where they sell kits you can work on with your kids in the comforts of your home. Aside from woodworking, TATY has started to offer other arts and crafts classes in partnership with other artists and makers. In fact, I will be holding a Rubberstamp Carving Workshop for kids in their studio this weekend. I’m very very excited for it and I can’t wait to share about how it goes. For now, please check out www.tatymnl.company.site/ and learn more about the wonderful work they are doing!