How to make unique woodworking projects with your kids?
With the 21st century’s influx of new technology, it is not uncommon to see whole families at the dinner table on their phones or tablets not interacting with each other at all. Woodworking is a great way to remove technology components from the equation and interact with your children and at the same time give the benefits of learning to woodwork.
Why make woodworking projects with your kids?
There is a multitude of benefits to woodworking projects for children:
- Following directions –This gives them an important skill for school work as well as in the job market. It also teaches them to not be afraid to ask questions if they do not understand something.
- Learning a skill set – Woodworking gives a child practice in coordinating their cognitive abilities in using their hands in more intricate tasks. Also, they learn skills like learning how to read a tape measure.
- Using their Creativity — Parents can leave the project more open-ended for design modifications and decorate. This gives their child the opportunity to explore their own creativity.
What do you need to get started?
Setting the ground rules for using tools and the importance of following every direction very carefully should be repeated at the beginning of every woodworking project with a child.
Then, introduce them to the tools. Let them get a feel for them, and also let them know which ones only an adult will be using. This includes putting safety glasses on them while they explore so they understand that safety glasses need to be worn at all times.
Finally, remove any loose clothing, bracelets, earrings, or other objects from their body that might get caught in something including tying back any long hair.
This list comprises most of the basic tools that are used in most woodworking projects:
- Hand drill and bits (corded or battery-operated)
- Hand sander or a block of wood with sand paper pieces
- Speed square
- Miter Saw (check out this great miter saw article from Woodwork Boss)
- Clamps (assortment of small and large) –quick-clamp styles are best for one-handed use and not having to use cloth to protect the woodwork like with screw clamps.
- Tape measure
- Wood glue
- Chisel set
- Wood (varies in size and type depending on the project)
- Optional: drill press and table saw
Wooden Key Chain Holder
You can start with a small project like this one that gives any child, very young or much older, an opportunity to get the feel for working with wood on a small scale and becoming comfortable handling the tools. You also don’t need a lot of materials for this one:
- Small piece of wood
- Sand paper
- Wood crafting paints
- Key chain rings and small chain
- Appropriate tools (see directions)
- First, let your child choose the design pattern that they want the key chain to be like a simple geometric shape or a bit fancier like a heart or a specific animal.
- Then use either a store-bought template of the shape or a jigsaw and cut it out.
- Then, let your child sand the edges until they are smooth
- They can then add the needed holes with the drill press to accommodate the chain and rings needed to hold the keys.
- Let them stain and decorate the wood using their own creative ideas.
- Finally, help them to attach the metal circles and chain along with their own house key or other keys to items that are their own.
This is a simple project that can easily be modified depending on a child’s depth of creativity. You can make it with a sliding lid or one that has hinges; there are a variety of project designs to choose from online in many shapes and sizes:
- Hand drill and assorted bits
- Sand paper/block or sander
- Speed square
- Miter saw
- Tape Measure
- Wood glue
- Children can do all the measuring and gluing while parents can do the appropriate cutting of the pieces based on the project design. They can also sand each piece and then hammer the nails into the sides of the wood to connect the wood pieces together to form the actual box.
- Then, it is just a matter of staining and decorating it to their preference. They can then use it to put their special items in or jewelry.