A little bit of history regarding my daughter’s time in the shop. Some of you may have already seen a lot of this but I wanted to gather it up a bit and use it to start the new blog series as it kind of shows how we got to this point.
For starters, my daughter is currently 7 year’s old. She has been working with me in the shop since she was 3.
She helped with little things of course like putting screws in and of course some hammering. Before anyone says something, I know she was not observing a rule here, it is very hard to find safety glasses that fit and stay on a 3 year old. That being said I have since found some that are sized for a child’s face. Right now she is using a pair of goggles.
With some excellent help and patience she turned her first pen at the age of 4 during a “Turn for the Troops” event.
She was super excited about it and has now turned at least one project every year for her teacher’s holiday gifts. She is getting better at the lathe each time she steps up to it, and is now learning to use the new smaller lathe. We will certainly be including some lathe time in this blog.
If there are kids based woodworking classes in your area and your kids are at all interested, try to get them involved. My daughter took one over a summer for about 5 weeks and the class was great to teach her little things that I did not. Another option is the kids’ project weekends at the big box stores. They have some fun projects and they are a great starting point.
If at all possible I highly suggest making a spot for your child to work in the shop that is just theirs. I gave my daughter her own workbench and space about 2 years ago.
This is great as it is her space to work. I try very hard not to pile stuff on it. She tends to but that is another story and something we are both working on. I know in some cases there is barely enough room for you to work but even if you can build something portable for them to use it will give a great feeling of ownership. I also keep a large box of scraps from various projects by her workbench, these are the pieces she can use to do anything she wants. She has taken and painted some, drilled holes and written on them creating signs. All kinds of things, things that just might do nothing more than make you smile because you know who made it.
If you look at my projects for the past few years you will see a number of projects that we have worked on together. I will plan to be posting more of those in the next few months as we continue this blog series. Please feel free to comment and pass on ideas that you have done with the kids or would like to know more about. As I stated earlier I am no expert, but I am willing to look into it.
-- Chris L. "Don't Dream it, Be it."- PortablePastimes.com (Purveyors of Portable Fun and Fidgets)