Sharing the Love of Woodworking with Children
Woodworking is a timeless activity that has many benefits when passed on and shared with children. From an early age, kids learn patience and how to pay attention to detail. Observation comes naturally to them. They are encouraged to express their creativity and innovative qualities, which aids in their confidence and self-expression. Also, their bodies are trained in areas such as hand and eye coordination and fine motor skills, helping their growth and development as they mature. Ultimately, children learn valuable ways to use woodworking tools to build a variety of objects, as well as their self-esteem.
As toddlers, kids watch the actions of those around them, including woodworkers, and try to imitate them. Depending on their maturity level, at age four, kids are transitioned from a plastic toy set to a real set of child-appropriate tools. Sets especially made for kids are readily available. Start by giving kids just one or two tools so they can process and integrate each item naturally without feeling overwhelmed. It is important to demonstrate tool usage and emphasize proper safety, as well as making sure kids properly secure tools when finished playing with them. This is an opportunity to teach children about tools and materials. Start with simple items like sandpaper that kids can hold and learn how to use. Show them different types of soft woods, such as cedar, redwood and white pine. Let them practice with roofer nails, ensuring that the nails are not longer than the wood, and perhaps get the nail started for them. Review magazine pictures or do-it-yourself outlines to spur on the imagination. Talk about ideas and first experiences with woodworking; ask for their ideas.
Children love working with their hands, and through woodworking, they develop physically and mentally, gaining a high degree of satisfaction and confidence in their own abilities and accomplishments. Introducing kids to tools, a couple at a time, lets them experiment and learn naturally. There is no doubt that letting children use woodworking tools to create projects is valuable to their growth. Indeed, the benefits of sharing woodworking with kids are priceless.