Teaching Your Kids the Wonderful World of Woodworking


Image courtesy of Gualberto107

Who knew the art of working with tools could be such a useful tool for teaching your kids far reaching skills that will aid them in their studies and in their lives?

Crafting something with their own hands is the perfect activity for those who learn by doing because it forces them to concentrate and pay attention without them realizing they’re actually learning anything!

Think about it, with one simple carpentry project, you can teach your kids about:

• Geometry: adjoining various shapes and lining up angles

• Math: measuring, simple addition and more complicated sums when accounting for seams, corners and edges

• Problem Solving: figuring out how to make things fit together and how to salvage something if you mess up on the measurements

• Safety: the importance of using proper safety gear and focusing on the task at hand when working with power tools

• Patience and Self-Control: how important it is to stop and think before acting – the first rule of carpentry is: measure twice, cut once!

• Perseverance: it may get tough at times, but by continuing to work the problem to resolution, kids learn about following through

• Self-Confidence and Empowerment: nothing boosts shaky confidence like attempting something completely foreign and succeeding

Since one of the main goals of parenting is equipping your children to live well-rounded and self-sufficient lives, teaching them practical skills like how to use a drill, hammer, level, nails and screws will prepare them for about 85% of the everyday projects they’re likely to encounter around the house as adults, like hanging pictures, swapping out towel racks, removing doors for repairs or repainting…the list goes on and on.

But before they become homeowners of their own, let’s start off on a smaller scale by building a bird house. You can get their creative sawdust stirred with a ready-to-assemble kit (available at your local home improvement store) without the more advanced skills that come with building something from scratch. Once the drill bit bites, chances are your little woodworker will be hooked! Enhance this bird house with a custom paint job and pop it outside.

When they’re ready to move on to the next project, tackle something like a simple box with hinges that you can dress up with decorative trim or moulding nailed to the lid and sides.

What are some of your favorite tools or projects to use as teaching tools?

About the Author: Chris Long has been a Home Depot store associate in the Chicago suburbs since 2000. Chris writes on backyard DIY topics for Home Depot’s website. He also writes on interior wood projects such as windows and doors, for the Home Depot site.

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