There are lots of great projects for kids that can be made in the wood workshop. Woodworking projects for kids are a way to develop their creativity and practical skills - and many of these projects also require kids to use basic engineering and physics. Woodworking projects also involve plenty of problem-solving, and kids feel a great sense of accomplishment at having made something from scratch. Lockdown is a great time to start an easy DIY woodworking project with your kids - use up scraps of wood and whatever tools you already have - and use the list below for some inspiration...
Before You Start
- Don't get carried away trying to teach sophisticated or complicated techniques - stick to the task at hand, and only teach the skills and techniques they need for easy woodworking projects.
- Lay out all the tools that are needed for the project ahead of time.
- Keep each procedure short - aim for each step to take only a few minutes.
- Use a clamp and mitre box for safer woodworking DIY projects
- If kids get bored with a task, then let them move on to something else. Don't force them to continue unless they are fully concentrating and interested in the task at hand.
- Focus on assembly rather than cutting wood - it is a good idea to pre-cut all the pieces ahead of time.
- Kids can get frustrated with hammering, so put pilot holes into pieces that need to be hammered.
Make a Nail Hedgehog
This is a simple woodworking project that kids will love. How Wee Learn's nail hedgehog is a fun, easy woodworking item for kids to make, which helps them to practice using a hammer and nails safely and confidently.
What You'll Need:
A short piece of 2 x 4 wood
A saw or mitre
Paint or permanent markers
Long nails, preferably with a large head
Clothes peg or pliers
Cut the 2 x 4 diagonally, so that you end up with two triangular pieces - this is best done by the supervising adult. Then get your kids involved by sanding the triangle of wood all over, taking off the sharp edges and rough patches. Once the triangles are smooth to the touch, paint or draw eyes and a nose onto the thin end of the wedge. Now it's time to get hammering - which is when the clothes peg or pliers come in handy. For kids who have never done any woodworking before, have them hold the nail with the peg or pliers so that their fingers are well protected. As they gain more confidence and skills in woodworking, they can practice hammering without the peg or pliers.
Make Wooden Stamps for Your Art and Craft Projects
Make these amazing stamps using scraps of wood from the shed or thick branches from the garden. Simply hammer different objects - like nails, screws and nuts - into the surface of the wood to make beautiful patterns and textures. Woodworking for kids should be fun and creative, and this DIY project gives them the freedom to experiment, whilst learning basic woodworking skills.
What You'll Need:
Scraps of wood or a branch, cut into roughly 6 cm x 4 cm x 4 cm
A selection of nuts, screws and nails
Use a variety of sizes of nuts, and create different patterns using the nails, screws and chisel. Once complete, dip the stamp into paint and get creative, using the stamps to make artworks, cards or even wrapping paper. For more detailed instructions on how to make kids wood art stamps, visit Mother Natured.
Make a Fun Crayon Holder
This fun crayon holder is a quick and easy woodworking project for kids, and the design can be adapted and altered to suit whatever scraps of wood you already have. Make a quick version by simply drilling holes into a block of wood - which is a great way for kids to start working with wood, as well as getting comfortable using a drill - or take a more professional approach by laminating smaller bits of wood together and adding lettering.
What You'll Need (Basic Version):
A block of scrap wood - or several pieces of 1 x 3 or 2 x 4 glued together
Wood workshop clamp
For detailed instructions on how to make a crayon holder, take a look at the full woodworking plan here.
Making a DIY catapult is a fun and educational woodworking activity, which involves thinking like an engineer, as well as teaching some basic physics. This particular design is so simple that it doesn't require a hammer and nails, wood glue or screws - but it may inspire your kids to want to make a more complicated catapult - or to move on to another woodworking project afterwards.
What You'll Need:
6 wooden dowels (these can be any size you like up to around 1 meter in length)
9 large rubber bands
Small plastic or paper cup
For instructions on how to assemble the catapult, take a look at the Teach Beside Me website - and have fun using the catapult, filling the cup with pom-poms, marshmallows or balls of paper!
Design and Make a Candle Stick
Woodworking projects for kids can quickly become long and complicated, but when teaching beginners about the basics of woodworking, it is best to find projects that are quick and easy to complete - giving kids a sense of satisfaction at having successfully finished something and hopefully inspiring them to want to move on to the next project.
What You'll Need:
A length of wood (roughly 18 cm x 5 cm x 5 cm) for the candlestick
A square of wood (roughly 9 cm x 9 cm x 2 cm) for the base
Ruler and pencil
Mere Mini has a great series of video tutorials for kids woodworking projects - so follow his detailed instructions for making a simple candlestick. This is a great project for kids, and they can even paint and decorate the candlestick after completing the easy woodworking tasks.
Easy woodworking projects like this simple DIY weaving loom is a brilliant project for kids - as they will learn how to work with wood, as well as learning how to use a weaving loom.
What You'll Need:
A flat square of wood, MDF or plywood (roughly 12 cm x 12 cm)
60 thin nails, about 2 cm long
For further instructions on how to make this kids wood weaving loom, follow the simple illustrations on Artists Helping Children. The site also shows how to weave using the loom, as well as ideas for weaving crafts to try.
For more complex woodwork projects kids will love, take a look a the Craftman Space website, which has lots of great ideas woodworking fans will enjoy making. The wood projects for kids come with fully detailed instructions and plans, and projects range from a simple wooden abacus or a child's swing seat to a walker tricycle, wooden walking stilts and a DIY periscope. More suited to older kids who are eager to improve their woodworking skills, this is a great resource that provides full plans and instructions to follow.
Simple Wooden Football Goal
If you have a garden - and kids who are fans of football - then why not build a DIY football goal? Change the size of the goal to suit your needs, the size of your garden and the age of your kids, and then follow the instructions on the Saws Hub website. Pre-cut all of the lengths of wood, and then get the kids involved, helping to assemble and finish the simple woodworking project, before scoring lots of goals. The wooden goal works just as well without a net at the back, but if you have some netting to hand, then simply staple it onto the back of the goal. A wooden goal tends to be much sturdier and longer-lasting than those you can buy in the shops, and it is a great project for teaching kids basic woodworking skills.
What You'll Need:
7 lengths of hardwood, cut depending on the size of your goal
Follow Andrew & Poston's YouTube tutorial for further instructions on making a football goal out of 4 x 4.
Build an Ant farm
An ant farm is a simple kids woodworking project, which can be made quickly and easily using only simple materials and basic skills. Once finished, your kids will love watching the ants turn their woodworking project into their home. For detailed instructions on how to build a wood ant farm, follow the tutorial on Instructables.
What You'll Need:
1 or 2 sheets of clear plastic cut to size (choose whatever dimensions you prefer)
4 lengths of 1 x 3 wood cut to size (enough to go around the edge of the plastic window)
Threaded rod and nuts
At Kidadl we pride ourselves on offering families original ideas to make the most of time spent together at home or out and about, wherever you are in the world. We strive to recommend the very best things that are suggested by our community and are things we would do ourselves - our aim is to be the trusted friend to parents.
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Kidadl provides inspiration to entertain and educate your children. We recognise that not all activities and ideas are appropriate and suitable for all children and families or in all circumstances. Our recommended activities are based on age but these are a guide. We recommend that these ideas are used as inspiration, that ideas are undertaken with appropriate adult supervision, and that each adult uses their own discretion and knowledge of their children to consider the safety and suitability.
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