Children can learn many helpful life skills through woodworking. Woodworking inspires creativity by turning raw materials into a finished project. It teaches the process of careful planning, measuring and the importance of seeing a project through to completion. It promotes fine motor skills, creative thinking and conceptualization. Woodworking also teaches valuable lessons in safety and self esteem that translates to other parts of children's lives.
Children as young as toddlers can begin to learn about woodworking through simple projects that do not even require the use of tools. You can encourage creativity by working with small children on crafts using basic wood products, non-toxic paint and glue. Using materials such as wood dowels, wood balls, wood discs, wood food parts or even smoothly sanded wood scraps leftover from other projects, an endless number of crafts are possible. You can create a wooden face, allowing the child to paint the parts of the face and assemble them with glue. Seasonal crafts such as ornaments for Christmas, turkeys for Thanksgiving or pumpkins for Halloween are also fun for children and make sentimental keepsakes for parents and grandparents. Young children should be supervised at all times when using any of these materials.
Older children can participate in the creation of more involved woodworking projects.
Some older children may be ready to begin using real tools with adult assistance and supervision. Older children may be able to assist with projects such as:
- Building and staining or painting a photo frame
- Planning and building a doll house
- Crafting and painting a bird house
- Building a basic wooden box
- Making a ring toss game
- Creating simple wooden toys that they can keep
When working with children of any age, be sure to teach them the fundamental safety precautions that should be used in any woodshop, even when power tools are not in use. Learning to plan carefully and keep safety at the forefront of one's mind is an important life skill that a child can use beyond woodworking.
Whatever type of project you choose to share with a child, it is best to tailor the project to the child's age, interest and attention span. Starting with a simple project that requires few or no tools may be helpful, even for older children who are just starting out. Even if the child is too young to use tools, you can still educate him or her about power tool safety, how to use particular tools properly and the uses for different types of tools. One approach is to have some pieces cut, sanded and ready to assemble so that the child has an opportunity to participate in the project.
Most importantly, children of any age should always be under direct adult supervision in the workshop or anywhere there are power tools. They should always wear properly fitting safety attire and practice woodshop safety. Sharing a woodworking project is a great way to bond with a child while fostering creativity and self esteem while building life skills.
Source by Dave A Murphy