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Getting kids into the shop - How do you do it? What are some easy projects for them?

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Forum topic by Mauricio posted 208 days ago 2324 views 1 time favorited 76 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Mauricio

6810 posts in 1787 days


208 days ago

Topic tags/keywords: kids learning woodworking teaching

We need a forum topic about getting kids into the shop.

Some Topics might include:
How do you get them interested?
What are some easy projects you have done with them?
Do you make them their own bench or have them stand at a stool at your bench?
Importance of hand tools for children?
Or do you cut the parts and have them nail it together?
Do you give them sharp tools or “safer” dull tools?

It can be difficult to get my kids in the shop; I’m into it more than they are. Share your ideas for lighting that spark! I know I can use the advice and I’m sure others can to.

-- Mauricio - Woodstock, GA - "Confusion is the Womb of Learning, with utter conviction being it's Tomb" Prof. T.O. Nitsch


76 replies so far

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Mauricio

6810 posts in 1787 days


#1 posted 208 days ago

Here is our latest project. Ok, I did most of the work but he helped with some cross cuts and hung out with me for a while, he also did some of the filing.

He also hammered in the nails and operated the drill press to bore out the wheel wells.


-- Mauricio - Woodstock, GA - "Confusion is the Womb of Learning, with utter conviction being it's Tomb" Prof. T.O. Nitsch

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Mauricio

6810 posts in 1787 days


#2 posted 208 days ago

a few more:

-- Mauricio - Woodstock, GA - "Confusion is the Womb of Learning, with utter conviction being it's Tomb" Prof. T.O. Nitsch

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Mauricio

6810 posts in 1787 days


#3 posted 208 days ago

Kids can shoot to! Making the front point of a boat.

-- Mauricio - Woodstock, GA - "Confusion is the Womb of Learning, with utter conviction being it's Tomb" Prof. T.O. Nitsch

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Mauricio

6810 posts in 1787 days


#4 posted 208 days ago

Making a rubber band paddle boat.

-- Mauricio - Woodstock, GA - "Confusion is the Womb of Learning, with utter conviction being it's Tomb" Prof. T.O. Nitsch

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Mauricio

6810 posts in 1787 days


#5 posted 208 days ago

I little raspin’

-- Mauricio - Woodstock, GA - "Confusion is the Womb of Learning, with utter conviction being it's Tomb" Prof. T.O. Nitsch

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chrisstef

10705 posts in 1642 days


#6 posted 208 days ago

I think you’ve shown some great projects that get the kids involved. My little guy is a bit young at a year and a half but ill certainly be looking to get him going as soon as I can. He’s shown a great interest in bashing things with hammers so far.

-- "there aren’t many hand tools as awe-inspiring as the #8 jointer. I mean, it just reeks of cast iron heft and hubris" - Smitty

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Mauricio

6810 posts in 1787 days


#7 posted 208 days ago

A chip off the old block! :-)

-- Mauricio - Woodstock, GA - "Confusion is the Womb of Learning, with utter conviction being it's Tomb" Prof. T.O. Nitsch

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Ripthorn

750 posts in 1621 days


#8 posted 208 days ago

My kids love to come out in the shop while I’m out there. Usually they just ask for a hammer and nails and then they raid my scrap pile and build things that they imagine up. Sometimes we’ll build something simple together, like a stand for a vase, or what have you. Other times I will build the project, but allow them to help at certain stages (like letting my daughter do most of the painting on her blindingly pink bedside table). We have also done the whole take them to Lowe’s/HD and do the kids workshops. My daughter knew how to use a hammer, screwdriver, level, pliers, etc. by the time she was 4. They also love to help me any time I use a drill.

-- Brian T. - Exact science is not an exact science

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Mauricio

6810 posts in 1787 days


#9 posted 208 days ago

Thats good input, I dont do a lot of nailing, I need to get some finishing nails and have them go at it.

-- Mauricio - Woodstock, GA - "Confusion is the Womb of Learning, with utter conviction being it's Tomb" Prof. T.O. Nitsch

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Mauricio

6810 posts in 1787 days


#10 posted 208 days ago

Im thinking we’ll nail together some bird houses before spring.

-- Mauricio - Woodstock, GA - "Confusion is the Womb of Learning, with utter conviction being it's Tomb" Prof. T.O. Nitsch

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rustfever

621 posts in 1946 days


#11 posted 208 days ago

I started three grandsons in the wood shop at nine. I learned how to instruct, caution, train, caution and praise, praise, praise.
By the time they had a few hours of the use of a tool, I found I no longer needed to be a ‘Hovering Granddad’ but to be always close at hand and always alert.

After a few successful projects, my job as a mentor and protector took a bit of a new meaning. I was able to relax, but still was ever so alert and still close at hand.

The way to handle these youngster is simple. Impress safety, teach safety, discuss accidents, re-emphasize safety, teach more safety. Only after you can see they are safety oriented, can you relax a bit and teach a skiil. One task, one tool, hundreds of ‘Attaboys’ and perpetual praise are required.

Once they recognize ‘Yes-I-Can’, it is an absolute pleasure having them in the shop.

I started each making pens on the mini lathe. Later challenges included turning bowls and baseball batts; bread boards and chess boards; steam bending; scroll and band saw work.

Even the 18 year old has not been allowed to use the table saw or the larger band saws, large belt sanders, joiner, and shaper. However, he has demonstrated an ease with tools, but also a very healthy respect for those tools. As he returns to the shop in the future, I will begin training him on some of the larger, more aggressive tools.

Projects these kids like are Nail in the board; pens & pencils; Marshmallow shooter; baseball bats; most any sport related item that can be made of wood.

-- Rustfever, Central California

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grfrazee

325 posts in 775 days


#12 posted 208 days ago

Not sure I’ll be of much help to this discussion. When I was a kid, I’m pretty sure my dad had no problem getting me interested – more he had the problem of me pestering him when he was trying to get something done in the shop!

That said, I think a lot of kids will be most interested in making something that directly benefits themselves. Ripthorn’s anecdote about his daughter’s nightstand is a prime example.

I was of the “gimme a hammer, nails, and scrap wood, and I’ll build…something” persuasion, myself. I still remember my dad telling me I’d have a hell of a time driving a 16d nail into a piece of red oak. Apparently six-year-old me didn’t grasp the concept of pre-drilling.

-- -=Pride is not a sin=-

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quicksilver

176 posts in 1224 days


#13 posted 208 days ago

You have the problem well in hand.
My only suggestion is whirligigs and spinning tops.
You make the first ones, with age and time they will run with it.
You will be a legend to them and their kids.
Congratulations

-- Quicksilver

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Danpaddles

535 posts in 948 days


#14 posted 208 days ago

(like every other post I’ve made lately- I disagree-) They need to be old enough to reach things, without accommodation. They need to have enough hand strength to use a tool. And old enough to have sense enough to not try something they shouldn’t.

That said- rubber band guns, slingshots, rubber band cars all went over well. Had a cute little mouse that was mostly a carving job, with a little drilling involved for tails and ears. Just buy a nice big soft hunk of balsa or bass.

I have let them help with certain aspects of a project- my special needs girl painted on a board, inside at the kitchen table, big variety of colors, it turned out looking okay. So I turned that into a box lid for g’parents.

My son was 16 when he wanted to make a knife (handle) using purchased steel from Koval (or is is K & G?). I still did a little of the power tool work. That save year he did some simple handles/ knobs on the lathe. Now 18, he still does not use the table saw much at all. I suppose one day he may want / need to make something, and want to try it himself. But then, I hope he is out of the house, using someone else tool. But if he never wants to mess with it, that is okay too. Woodworking is not for everyone.

-- Dan V. in Indy

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MT_Stringer

1861 posts in 1867 days


#15 posted 208 days ago

We have a grand daughter that is three. She loves to help glue projects. No doubt she will be out there with me every time she comes over.


-- Handcrafted by Mike Henderson - Channelview, Texas

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