It is March Break, so you might be asking yourself, what can you do to get the children and grandchildren off the X-Box and doing something positive and fun.
Woodworking is a wonderful hobby that can develop creativity, problem-solving, and fine motor skills in children.
However, it also involves some risks and challenges, so it is important to introduce woodworking to children under ten in a safe and fun way.
Here are some tips and ideas for woodworking with young children:
- Choose simple and age-appropriate projects that can be completed in a short time span. Some examples are wooden coasters, wind chimes, picture frames, treasure chests, or wooden cars.
- Use soft and lightweight wood materials that are easy to cut and shape, such as balsa wood, pine wood, or plywood. Avoid hardwoods or treated wood that may splinter or release harmful chemicals.
- Provide proper supervision and guidance when using tools such as saws, hammers, nails, screws, drills, or glue guns. Teach children how to use them safely and correctly. You may want to pre-cut some parts of the project or use pre-drilled holes for easier assembly.
- Encourage children to express their creativity and individuality by decorating their projects with paint, stickers, glitter, beads, or other embellishments. Let them choose their own colors and designs.
- Praise their efforts and achievements and display their finished projects proudly. Woodworking can boost their confidence and self-esteem as they see what they can create with their own hands.
Keeping your wood shop safer when grandchildren visit is important. Children are curious and will want to touch everything. Make sure your larger tools like table saws, your router table, table belt sander, and drill press are unplugged. Also ensure that the safety keys for larger power tools are put away.
Getting some hand tools that are child sized is also a good idea.
There are many online and offline stores that sell child-sized hand tools for woodworking. Some examples are:
- Amazon.ca: You can find a variety of children’s tool kits on Amazon.ca, such as the Hi-Spec 17 Piece Orange Kids Tool Kit Set & Child Truck Tool Box1, the QeeHeng Kids Real Tools Set1, or the My First Power Drill Set1. These kits include real metal hand tools that are suitable for DIY building, woodwork, and construction projects.
- Highland Woodworking: This website offers a Kids Woodworking Tool Kit2 that contains 24 pieces of quality tools and two books with 55 projects for kids. The tools are selected based on what is needed for woodworking projects that kids are likely to undertake.
- For Small Hands: This website specializes in providing Montessori materials and activities for children. It has a section on woodworking tools and accessories3 that includes hammers, saws, planes, clamps, nails, screws, and more. The tools are scaled to fit small hands and are safe and fun to use.
- Popular Mechanics: This magazine has an article on the best tools for kids of all ages4, which recommends some tool kits and individual tools that are suitable for different skill levels and interests. Some of the products mentioned are the Kidwill Wooden Tool Set4, the Stanley Jr. 10-Piece Tool Set4, and the Black+Decker Junior Power Workbench4.
- Bob Vila: This website has an article on the best tools for kids who like to craft and build5, which suggests some tool sets and individual tools that are designed for children’s safety and comfort. Some of the products mentioned are the Active Kyds 11-Piece Kids’ Tool Set with Real Tools5, the Stanley Jr. Circular Saw Building Kit5, and the Melissa & Doug Take-Along Tool Kit Wooden Toy^5.
The enjoyment that you feel in woodworking can be passed down to the younder generations. Have Fun!