Hardware Work Tasks

So I have this secret fear. I am totally and unnecessarily¬†freaked out about going to… Home Depot. I know, it’s completely bizarre and I’m even a little embarrassed to be admitting this here. I don’t know why. I feel totally out of my comfort zone – I feel like I should be driving a pick up truck and picking out lumber. I can never find what I’m looking for and always end up lost in the aisles of plumbing equipment. It’s irrational, I know. I’m working on it.

So why I’m admitting this to you all – I had to overcome my home depot fears to make these awesome work tasks. I put on my big girl pants and asked people questions and looked like an idiot and you know what? It really wasn’t that bad. And look at the great out come. You can make SO MANY work tasks using hardware and cheap too!

These tasks work on sorting, fine motor skills, sequencing, and assembly. I love tasks like this for upper grades and high school because they don’t look baby-ish. This type of work is similar to what many adult workshops do. Even though it may seem early to start thinking about this – we need to! It can take out students longer to learn these skills so may as well get started. The more skills they have – they more opportunities they will have towards functional independence.

Disclaimer: Some of these tasks are long and boring. I’m okay with that. Many jobs have aspects that are monotonous. I want to get my students (even the higher functioning ones) used to working for longer periods of time and on a more rote task. As an adult, they will be asked to roll 300 sets of silverware not 3 – so we need to start building towards that!

Putting together nuts, washers, and bolts (big size)

Putting together nuts, washers, and bolts (small size)

Sorting nails and other small hardware. I just bought one of these sets, hot glued one of each into each section, and put the rest of the pieces in a tupperware. Ready to go! (this would be for higher functioning students since some nails could be sharp and potentially not safe for some students)

Same thing! Sorting hardware using the container as the sorter. Glue one of each into each section.

This task is HARD! Put the bolt through the hole (only certain ones fit in each) and twist the nut on the other side. Awesome way to target complicated fine motor coordination!

Another hard task! I bought a ton of different sized bolts, washers, and hooks. I got this sorting tray from another task but you could use small tupperwares or ice cube trays and glue one of each into each section!




  1. We have a Home Depot within walking distance of our school. One day we ended up there because we were doing a scavenger hunt for community signs and I thought they might have a first aid box, etc. Anyway, they were so nice. They gave each of my students a free small project they could put together at home and told me that if I call ahead of time, they would put together a simple project class just for my students during school time. They are into their community, and offer lots of evening and weekend classes/projects for kids and adults alike, so if you have one close to you, give them a call and ask them about a class.

  2. Is your wooden stand for bolt/nut job homemade? It’s just what I need!

  3. I have my students work on hardware tasks as well. They do a great job!
    Thanks for all of the helpful posts

  4. I absolutely love these, especially the last 3! I teach high school students, who have mastered all of the basic work tasks years ago, but still need the structure. We struggle to come up with new tasks so I will definitely be making these! I understand your fear of home depot, I definitely feel out of my element there, but will be making that trip soon.


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