Woodworking For Kids


When my neighbor cut down his tree I asked him for a 4’section. I took it to school and set it on the wood table. I had to child size saws to go with it. There was only room for two kids) We started sawing on it 3 years ago. We may make it through it this year. There is always someone sawing on it. I do this with 4’s and 5’s. (Just be sure they are both facing the same way)


One of the tools you should have is an awl for the teacher to use. Tap on the back of the awl to make a hole where the child will start a nail. This makes it possible for the child to get the nail started successfully.


In our woodworking area, we add a range of nuts and small pieces of bush wood (Australia). The kids love combining the bush bits with timber yard off-cuts. For a special treat, I sometimes provide glitter paints for them to use.


Ask a local high school shop teacher to have their students come to your school and show them what they made in shop class.


Many people don’t know about the great service that your local Home Depot provides. By contacting the store you can arrange for a representative to come to your class or you can go to the store and they will provide a woodworking project with the materials and instructor free of charge. I did this with my kinders last year, we made picture frames and they loved it!


Ask parents to donate the scrap wood from karate classes. You will have to clean cut the edges and sand lightly but you will have a never-ending supply of scrap wood.


Large cardboard boxes e.g. washing machine, refrigerator from local appliance stores are great for the children to work with. Saws can be used for cutting doors, windows, in what will become a house. Cardboard also easy to hand drill. Also, provide PVA glue and wallpaper to decorate.


We bring out our woodworking table every spring. Last year, we expanded the opportunities by supplying cut up 2 x 4’s, dowel slices with holes drilled in the middle, lathing strips and 1 x 1 ‘s, etc. The children were encouraged to use their imaginations. Such results: we had cars, buses, trains, dinosaurs, robots, and space shuttles. The children then painted their creations. Some fast learners made three and four projects. The parents were so impressed. We kept running out of dowel slices, however. Things with “wheels” and “buttons” were very popular. The children could put a nail through the hole in the middle so the dowel slice could turn. Threes and Fours participated in this, however, the Fours really got into it! We also made play dough with sawdust, but the kids hated it. They thought it was too scratchy.


I looked through and notice the wonderful ideas that were posted and thought this would help someone else. I went to the local hardware store and asked for old carpet, tile, paint samples. I was pleased when I got about thirty from each request. I showed my children how to put tile down by using some glue and a shoe box afterward we glue the paint samples to the walls. added furniture with thread spools and misc. stuff we put the top of the shoe box on and added tiles to the roof I explained to them about the different roofs and there they built a house for a bug. we found some and fed them daily. This project from finish to start took us six days about twenty minutes a day however they learned allot.


I use a specific progression when introducing woodworking to my preschoolers. We begin by always using safety goggles. I then introduce plastic hammers, golf tees, and Styrofoam in September. By October, I have a “feel” as to how trustworthy by students are with the tools. I then provide them with pumpkins to pound golf tees into in October. When November rolls around, we’re ready for turkeys (ha, ha). Actually, we move on to the real thing. I introduce claw hammers, roofing nails and a couple of cross sections from a log (it lies flat and is an easy target). After the children have gone through this progression, they are then ready for small pieces of wood, nails with a smaller head and even various hammers. Have fun!!!!!

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