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Wednesday, October 26, 2011

wood working with kids

My kids love to work with tools and wood. For some reason, I have a hard time facilitating projects that meet their needs. They come up with HUGE ideas that I can not implement (we watch too much Little Rascals - go carts with real duck horns, playhouses with elaborate stages...). The other option is to just give them a pre made kit - but that falls a little flat. We have very gradually begun to find a few projects that allow them to do most of the work to create something very useful.

This project from Family Fun was a recent success. It is a hanging tray bird feeder. You really do not even need detailed directions to make it. Basically, you make a square out of strips of wood (we used reclaimed wood from our stash) and then using upholstery tacks, attach a screen on the bottom. You can drill holes to make the hanger or even tie the strings to the wood before attaching the screening. It it pretty simple and turned out great.

I found this book in my brother's old stuff and it looks promising. It offers guidance on tool selection and use, as well as setting up the workshop. There are projects of varying difficulty, from making a block set out of one piece of wood to building a real raft! I love that the projects are all illustrated using real working kids and rely on non-power tools.

How do you wood work with your kids? I would love more resources and tips.


  1. Love the idea! What did you use to make the photos look old - is it through Iphone or a PC app?

    Also, I'd bet people would be falling over the lego costume this year with Legoland opening up.

  2. laura - i use the hispstamatic filters on my iPhone alot. i am on the run a lot so lug my slr around less and less.

  3. My son went through a major building phase when he was young. He just loved the satisfying feeling of assembling pieces of wood and hammering his heart out. I also love your photos. They have such a great vintage feel.


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