Start Them Young: Woodworking for Children 6-10

kids and woodworking 2As children grow older, their desire to act like an adult increases. In addition, their hand/eye coordination improves. From ages 6 thru 10, you can introduce your children to more complex tools of woodworking. Of course, you know your children, and as you introduce them to more advanced skills, keep safety procedures in mind.

Children vary in maturity. By age six, they may have developed both the power and the coordination to begin using a hammer and nails. You can help hone their hammering skills by starting a nail into a block of wood. Have them finish pounding it in. Start with a broader-headed nail, and then work your way to brads.

Another great skill to teach children is the art of gluing wood together. This act is the stacking of blocks for the mature. Gathering scrap-wood, glue, and some clamps, have them adhere the pieces together. After it dries, ask them what they want to make out of their new block.  Perhaps they can nail or glue some legs to it and make their own table.

Concerning power tools, children younger than 6 may have already mastered the finishing sander. But, which power tool should you try next? Sensing what your children can handle, a great next step after is a low-power cordless drill. Watching your children carefully, you can have them practice on a stable block of wood. Let them turn to wood into Swiss cheese.  After they have gotten comfortable, you can put a chuck into the drill, start a few screws, and let them drill the screws the rest of the way in. This will build hand/eye coordination and confidence. You will want to use less expensive chuck for they are bound to wear out a few.

As your children grow older, you can have them explore various tools. However, concerning cutting tools, you may want to wait until your children are older. Yet, never underestimate the value in letting them watch you work, or even help.  While having them do their own project is great, their assistance spurs an interest in woodworking and creates valuable relationship-building moments.