Young children enjoy working with their hands and building things. Adults, especially parents or guardians who do woodworking should encourage their children, grandchildren or small child to manipulate, build and connect wood pieces together to create objects. The process helps to develop eye/hand coordination and provides an outlet for imagination and creativity.
Children enjoy using scrap lumber to create unique sculptures and creative furniture. The completed project may not look like anything to the adult but the child sees a new universe. Very young children are content with using scrap lumber as building blocks while older children, over the age of four, like to use a hammer and nail and connect the pieces together.
By the age of six, children can begin to understand that cut pieces of lumber fit together to make objects. Birdhouses are a favorite activity for many children groups such as Cub Scouts, 4-H and Girl Scouts. The birdhouses can either be constructed using nails or wood glue. It really does not matter which medium is used as long as the child completes the project.
Pine car derby races are promoted by the Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts. Parents or guardians can purchase a pine car derby kit at hobby and craft stores or through the Boy Scouts. The process of making the car is important for the child. The use of sand paper and saws is part of the experience. A band saw or scroll saw works well to cut the pine car derby blank. Make sure all safety guards are in place before the child uses the equipment and the child is wearing safety glasses or goggles. The process of making the car helps the child earn a badge from their unit. It is important that the parent or guardian allows the child to design and build the car on his own. They do not learn the process if the adult does the work.
Other projects that are easy and help a child build woodworking skills includes building a shelf, recipe box, trinket box, wooden tool box with dowel handle, picture frame or a wooden flower pot. All projects require the supervision of an adult. All power equipment should be in proper working condition with all safety guards in place.
Excellent Internet resources are available that provide free woodworking projects for children. Natural Papa, Granddad’s Battle Fleet, Woodworker’s Resource and Absolutely Free Plans offer several excellent patterns to use with children. Many of the patterns require only scrap wood to build the objects. This makes children woodworking projects a low to no cost activity.
The craft of woodworking is an old craft that continues to play an important role in today’s society. Without woodworkers, our lives would not be the same. Teaching the young woodworking techniques ensures the craft will continue as time passes.