This is a guest post written by Michael Barton. Check out his helpful tool reviews on Power Tools Planet.
Woodworking lessons can be taught at home as merely a hobby, as a requirement for homeschoolers, or they may help your children with their craft classes or in school. Either way, woodworking is a great opportunity for both children and parents to learn something new and bond more; it is also a great way to see if your child is naturally inclined towards art or mathematics.
Children as young as 5, depending on their level of patience and ability to understand simple instructions, can take part actively in these lessons, and learn to make toys, wooden games, doll cradles, build a birdhouse and a bird feeder, shelves, stools, etc.
Woodworking helps children explore and enhance their creativity and imagination, and improve their spatial, visual and motor skills, as well as their self-esteem. They will also learn to count, measure, think critically and solve problems, because to make an object from scratch, kids will learn to plan every step of the construction.
First of all, don’t push your kids, but rather try to spark their interest in woodworking. Start with simple projects to help children build confidence with each one, and remember, projects should be fun and the instructions easy for the child to understand.
Since they are kids, they most likely have no experience in woodworking, so you must teach them the basics, starting with safety measures, and the materials and tools you will use before you actually get to building anything.
Then, ensure a clean and safe working space for the kids by putting away all sharp and power tools, and keeping close by a first-aid kit. Make sure the little ones wear appropriate clothing (that is not loose) and footwear, as well as safety glasses that fit them. And supervise the kids at all times.
Materials and Tools
Start with soft materials like Styrofoam so that kids can cut them easily; pine, cedar and other softwoods can also be worked on by children, usually once they get the hang of things. A good alternative is precut kits made from pine that only need to be assembled, sanded and applied some finish.
You will need a ruler, measuring tape with fractions, various grit sandpaper, paint, glue, and hand tools; limit the use of power tools especially when there are young children involved in the project. Ideally, the hand tools should be smaller so that kids are able to grasp them well: use a screwdriver, a 7—16 oz hammer, nails, screws, a block plane, a handsaw.
Teach kids how to read a tape measure, saw, and finish each project, and use cork boards to show them how to hammer in nails without bending them or hurting their fingers.
Even if you as the parent are not very skilled at woodworking, the important thing is to have fun, spend quality time with your kids, and make sure you have taken all safety precautions – this way, you get to build memories that will be with your children for a lifetime.
Michael Barton is an avid home improvement enthusiast who loves everything about improvement and modern house gadgets. You can find his reviews on his website.