Woodworking Projects for Kids
Woodworking Projects for Kids
You will notice it when kids finish a project, their sense of accomplishment. They will want to show all their friends and family the masterpiece in wood. It should be a fun activity that helps them learn about their capacities and that gives them a sense of pride about themselves. Remember to let them do it with you, don't just do it for them. The gift is the process, not the item.Kids Woodworking Projects
We have two kids ourselves and recognize the value of kids woodworking projects in getting children interested in woodworking. Trouble is, when a child puts in the effort to please you, you are too often confronted with the reality of what to do with the thing they made.
Here are three basic projects to get you started. All were built by young hands and are used everyday in our home. Keep in mind we're talking seven to ten years old with these basic designs. The "process of building" is what is most important. Let your child handle the tools, do the sanding, and decide what color. To help the process, pre-drill the holes before having them drive the screws, give them three or four color choices rather than ask an open-ended question, have them do the painting (be prepared for a mess!), and let them start over if they need to.
It is very important to involve young children in arts and crafts. This helps increase their creativity and the dexterity with which they can use their fingers. Woodwork projects are a little dangerous as they involve dangerous tools, nails and hammers and a young child can easily get hurt. An adult supervision is a must until you are confident that your child will not get hurt.
Most tools in a workshop are dangerous if not used properly, from a hammer to a large power tool. Respect for a tool must be taught, not fear, simply telling a six year old that he will cut his fingers off if he ever uses the table saw will scare him for the rest of his life. Explaining the inherent dangers of using a table saw, and how one must be big enough to operate it safely will accomplish the same objective, so that when he is big and old enough to use the tool he can concentrate on the job at hand instead of cringing when he has to use that dreadful machine.
I just spent a wonderful three days in the shop with my son. Now, we weren’t in the shop the entire three days but suffice to say that our shop time was a significant part of some quality father-son time this weekend. My wife and daughter were out of town this weekend visiting friends in Central Oregon. My son Matthew and I stayed behind to start work on a community service project for his Boy Scout Citizenship in the Community Merit Badge. Our family has the opportunity to help a friend put the finishing touches on a Habitat for Humanity home in Sisters, Oregon. We will assist with the installation of approximately 105 feet of fencing. Matt made the gate as a gift. He will also be part of the fence building crew.
If you're a skateboarder, or there's one in your family, you know the boards are hard to store. Here's a quick and easy way to corral loose skateboards with a sturdy, stable rack that holds three of them. You can also enlarge this design to handle a trio of snowboards. For beginner-level woodworkers it's a great way to sharpen layout skills and do some precision drilling and band saw work.
This is the first video in our Woodworking for Kids series. We designed a woodworking project for kids that would be simple and fun to build. It's a folding chair. After building this chair with my son though I realized that even if you don't have kids this project is so useful you're going to want to build one for yourself. Just because we're building a kids project doesn't mean it has to be just for kids! If you want more information on woodworking with kids check out our book, "Woodshop 101 for Kids".
I went into my shed and took pictures of a few tools. You will have seen most or all of these at some point in your life. If you know about them already, go read something else. If you have seen the tools but never actually used them, you may need to hear what I have to say. I have tried to introduce the most fundamental features of each one so that you can get started with them. Should you rush out and buy all these things? Probably not. You should buy the most important ones, and I have pointed these out below, but the other ones can wait until you actually need them. The point here is that you need to know these things exist, it will help you do better design work. The devices are good examples of design in their own right. The way they are used is also important because it draws attention to the detail of how materials can be shaped and joined.