Woodworking is unfortunately one of those double edged activities where it can be extremely beneficial to get started from a young age, yet it's one that should never be done without adult supervision. The creative and potentially career-driving possibilities of getting your kids to understand and build with oak, cedar or beech planed all round timber can be extraordinary, it's just finding something appropriate and exciting for them to build is a problem! To help solve this conundrum we've found 6 woodworking projects for kids that cater to both their safety requirements and particular interests.
The ultimate male bonding activity (and one not limited to males either!), the hours of fun that can be had with a simple two or four lane pine derby racing track are the stuff of dreams. Whilst some of the more complicated tracks include details on how to build starting gates and electrical mechanisms to determine the race winner and their time, this simple, 30° slope with clearly marked lanes and door hinges should be a decent start for both beginner woodworkers and young carpenters alike.
A great dual project for aspiring circus performers and DIY specialists, helping a child to make their own pair of beginner level stilts will encourage them to take on a vast range of skills. Whilst simple in terms of construction, stilts are dependent on precise measurement for a careful balance, and need to be made as comfortable to handle as possible. If your little performer has become inspired by a recent trip to the fair or a workshop at school, don't waste money on overpriced stilts when you have this awesome option available.
The popular go-to project option for those new to woodcraft, like the previous idea a bird or bat box is a great way to encourage a simultaneous interest in DIY along with an equally profound hobby. Whether the two of you are trying to attract a certain species of bird or simply want to see a bat up close, learning to build these little homely boxes brings with it compulsory learning of the creature's habits and preferred habitat - the foundational knowledge for any budding conservationist!
Toys & Play Figures
If there's one reason to praise the internet and it's huge crafting culture, it's the abundance of online plans that for the first time allows kids everywhere to actually make their own, long-lasting toys. From ferocious favourites like the T-Rex
to high flying Airplane
designs and, of course, the ever-classic Doll's House
, the extraordinary imagination of a child is best unlocked when you help them make simple, exquisite wooden toys like these.
Known by it's more grand title as the 'Trammel of Archimedes', this strange little wooden contraption is the ideal project idea for a young woodworker with an interest in geometry and physics just waiting to be unlocked. Referred to in part as a 'nothing grinder' or 'Kentucky do-nothing', whilst it can be used as an ellipsograph when fitted with a drawing or cutting tool, it's a generally purposeless invention that nevertheless captivates with it's fluid and precise movements.
Last but not least, we come to what we believe is the cornerstone of every bright child's future. Whilst having a bookcase that appeals to your child's interests and favourite reading genres is sure to encourage them to pick title after title from its shelves, having them join you in building the bookcase will help them to appreciate both their little library and the titles within. The particular guide linked above is an awesome, castle themed wooden book shelf that your child will delight in storming every time they want a good read.
If you have any great suggestions for woodworking projects for kids, you can share both their plans and finished photos on our Facebook page, Twitter and/or Google+.