It is enormously therapeutic to be occupied with a wood working project. If you are not a carpenter by trade, it is very relaxing to come home from whatever you do, but especially if you are an office worker, and make something with your hands. Woodworking projects are pleasurable and rewarding and after the project is finished, you have something that is functional or and decorative, which you can even sell if you want to. So why should we not encourage our children to take on wood working projects from an early age too?
Having said that many wood working tools are razor-sharp and dangerous, so the children would have to be supervised at least until they showed the right level of ability and regard for the tools. In addition, the projects would have to be specially chosen to match their growing level of skill.
The best idea would perhaps be if a grown up were to be occupied with his or her wood working project and the child or children were busy with theirs at the same time in the same room. In this way, the child could be helped with and taught about potentially dangerous machinery and tools. They could be helped and taught at the same time.
What is an suitable age to begin? Well, many schools begin teaching woodwork at about 12 years of age, but you know how grown-up your child is better than anyone. You could hold your ‘wood working classes’ on the weekend or during the school’s annual holidays. Children often get fed up and restless in the long summer break, so a couple of simple wood working projects would keep them occupied.
Wood working projects for kids should be relatively simple but also be practical, say, a bird table with a little house on it. Or a dog kennel or a stool. They could make a set of draughts (checkers), a board and a box to put the pieces in. A pencil box with a sliding top, a letter box or a herbs and spices rack.
There are loads of wood working projects that are suitable for children. Ask them what they would like to make, but it might be better to ask them to select from a list that you have prepared, otherwise they may settle on a woodworking project that is out of their range and become downhearted when you veto it.
If you yourself are not proficient at wood working, you may find it helpful to look up a compilation of wood working projects and choose from this catalogue. You can get books of projects and I am sure that your library has some too, but there are specialist web sites that have thousands and thousands of woodworking plans for download. This is almost certainly the best way to go about choosing suitable wood working projects for kids.
A good set of wood working plans will include an exploded diagram of the item to be made, a sequence of events detailing the flow of the work and all the measurements you will require. These wood working project plans might also give you a complexity rating and suggest which tools you will need to finish the wood working project as well.
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