Working With Wood: Teaching Children The Basics

father and son playing with wooden swords

Young children are curious and would love to learn new things. When you’re a parent, it’s your job to give them the education that they need and fill their curiosity. While the school handles the bulk of it, there are some skills that you can teach them in a better way. One of these is woodworking. It sounds like an outdated skill in a digital world but being able to create and fix things with wood can come in useful many times in their lives.

But you can’t just throw them a piece of wood and a few tools to puzzle things out. If you plan to teach them woodworking skills, you need to do some things to make it easy for them. Here is a quick outline of some things you should do so that you can properly introduce them to the art of working with wood.

Let Them Watch

Woodworking is not an easy skill to teach, even to adults. You likely have some skill in woodworking and want to pass them to your child. But before you begin, you should gauge their interest. Though it sounds like watching your work can bore children easily, they might surprise you. Bring them into your workshop and allow them to see you working on a project or two.

The act of making something can be fascinating for children. You can see this in the popularity of Lego and Minecraft. With woodworking, they can take their creativity into the real world. Once you show them what you can make with wood, and they show interest, then you have a young woodworker on your hands.

Introduce Them To Tools And Safety

The first thing to do is to go through all the tools that your child might use. Many tools will be a bit heavy and unfamiliar in the beginning. But once your child becomes familiar with them, they should be fine. Hammers and saws are the first tools that a woodworker will use, and that is what you will introduce to them. There are also less dangerous items like sandpaper and measuring tape.

But the important thing to teach in the beginning is how to properly handle all these tools and how to be safe in the workshop. For example, hammers are a common source of injuries even to experienced woodworkers. Teaching them how to reduce the chance of accidents can only benefit them. Additionally, safety practices like wearing safety goggles and other protective gear are habits that you need to train into them early. This prevents accidents in the future.

wooden table inside a room

Teach Them Basic Skills

Once they know how to use some tools, you should get them busy. While they may not be able to work on projects immediately, an extra pair of hands can help greatly in finishing up many projects. There are several beginner’s tasks that you can give them. For example, sanding wood will keep them busy and teach them one of the basics. Learning how to ensure that wood is smooth and ready for use is an essential skill. Another thing that they can do is to measure out the various pieces of wood. This teaches them another essential skill since bad measurements can ruin a project.

Always look over what they have done to see that they did it right. If they did, you should give them praise. This should help in motivating them. Even if they are wrong, you should praise them for their efforts while correcting their mistakes.

Plan Out Some Projects

Once they develop the right skills, you should plan out some projects that they can do on their own. A traditional first project for woodworkers is a birdhouse. This is because of the simple construction and shapes needed. Putting it all together is simply nailing various boards together. Similar to when teaching basic skills, you should observe them while they are working. This is to ensure their safety and that they are doing it right.

Future projects should increase in complexity. They should introduce additional skills that they can use in the future. For example, some projects may need drilling. Fortunately, self-drilling screw manufacturers made it easy by creating self-drilling screws which eliminate the need for a drill. Providing some assistance on these more complex projects is a good move so that you can show how some things should be done. Using your power tools can also make things much easier if your child is struggling.

Woodworking is an incredibly useful skill. Teaching it to your child can help them out in the future. It gives them a variety of traits like creativity and meticulousness that will make their life easier.

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