Woodworking For Kids

We put a small block of wood, tongue depressors, and paper road signs. allow the children to glue these to the wood however they wish when dry they can be used in the block area for road signs.
Talk to a local contractor to get “scraps” of wood. I also have woodworking magazines on my table to give the idea of some things to create. We are also going to go to Home Depot to see the large selection of real tools, and to make a project to take home.

This isn’t an idea, just a suggestion. Use local residential construction sites as your source for scrap wood. Many home builders are happy to give you material you wouldn’t typically ask for. You will be surprised when you tell them who is doing what with what! Local cabinet shops and even local home centers such as Builders Square or Home Depot will be thrilled to let you have what they consider scrap.

Additionally, check with the paint department of these local home do it yourself centers. Many of them throw away paint that was custom mixed and then returned because it wasn’t the right color. I have gotten lots of free paint for student projects this way!

A great way to get lumber for your woodworking center is to go to local hardware stores such as Home Depot and ask if they have any scraps that they would be willing to donate to your program. They can also provide sawdust. Sometimes you need to provide your own bag to bring it home. Also, look in the phonebook for wood shops. They usually love to donate to schools. They can provide you with a large selection of shapes also.

I put a big log along with a few nails and hammer in our woodworking center. The kids love it and it doesn’t take up a lot of space.

A good source for small pine boards is a local tai kwon do or karate studio. My nephew took lessons for a few years and began breaking boards in half. The school would just toss out the wood. (It was a lot of boards from all the classes that did this.) My brother asked if he could start picking it up and he and my sister-in-law used it to do decorative painting. It would be great for young kids to do their own projects on real wood. (Even painting.)

Instead of building, try taking apart. Pick up from Goodwill tape recorders, radios, hair dryers, etc, cut off electrical cords and give the children hammers, screwdrivers, etc and let them take apart and see how its made. Lots of fun!!!

I have two very enjoyable loves in life. One is painting on wood and the other is teaching. I have my kindergarten class paint simple wood shapes such as hearts, snowmen, Christmas tree or even a turkey-shaped wood cut out. I show them how to sand, and base coat the cut out and do some simple details such as facial features or dots. The children are very eager to do these and their parents are very pleased with their efforts.

Use 6 thin pieces of wood all the same size 6in X 6in is good. You will have the kids glue them together like a box, except the top piece, for that use small hinges(less than 1.00 at local hardware) and glue them on to use for the lid. Can be used for a jewelry box, gift, game box, etc. Can decorate with paper and glue, colored glue, crayons or paint.

Provide wood blocks and sandpaper in your woodworking area. The children enjoy sanding off the rough edges of the blocks. This is a wonderful fine motor skill for little hands.

We have a day when Dad’s (or Grandpas, Uncles etc.) are invited to come and do woodworking. We put out several workbenches with glue, wood pieces, tools, goggles…. and simple project ideas that a child can build with their special person. Then we have a painting table where they can paint their creation. We also have a snack table and we make it a fun morning just for kids and their dads.

Project ideas: sailboat, airplane, train, car. So we have lots of misc. items to help spark creativity for shy Dads.