Last updated on October 8, 2021
Why is working on wood projects good for the kids?
1. Hands off from gadgets
Projects such as woodcrafts can help your kids develop more practical skills that will certainly prove more useful in the future.
It also helps take their mind off excessive gadget use along with their negative side-effects.
2. Enhances crafting skills
Woodworking helps introduce to kids the basic idea of shaping/forming materials to their minds, like how a woodworker holds a carving chisel.
When it comes to arts and crafts, besides innate creativity, technical knowledge about the function of shapes greatly adds to the overall value of the final product.
3. Boosts creativity
Woodworking encourages creativity, rewarding playful and even outright extraordinary designs and ideas.
With wood’s innate versatility, you can let your kids showcase their talent by letting them experiment with straight lines, curves, maybe even teach them a thing or two about joinery!
4. Learn building skill
Introduce a few wood-building projects for kids to develop their calculating skills.
Tying in with helping your kids be a bit more hands-off from gadgets, woodcrafts provide a foundation for future building skills.
In essence, if a child learns how to build a small wooden house, then they’ll have an idea of how to one day build a real one.
5. Increase confidence
A simple wood project for kids aid in character development.
Being able to complete their very own project will give your kids a sense of accomplishment and can massively boost their confidence.
6. Bond with other kids
Just like playing castle, easy wood projects for kids that would require more hands will also help build cooperation and communication.
Your kids will start learning basic social skills such as when to push their personal ideas and when to submit and agree to that of others.
7. Appreciate raw materials like wood
Wood projects for your kids allow them to learn of the intrinsic value of materials.
Besides knowing about wood, they also get to see and potentially appreciate the properties and characteristics of different kinds of wood.
8. Have the skill to be proud of
More of a future thing, but woodworking isn’t for everyone. Though anyone can learn it, if willing, only those that truly embrace it can and will benefit.
For example, your kids can one day be proud that they were the ones who laid the foundation for their own house or even make an earning career out of it.
9. Make something useful
The beauty with woodwork is that whatever you create, it will always serve a purpose, whether aesthetically or functionally; sometimes even both!
For your kids, learning how to make something useful also teaches them the value of substance. More or less, they also gain life skills.
1. A Bird feeder
Here’s one of the easy-to-build wood projects for kids.
A nice bird feeder for small birds or large pigeons made out of wood from milled lumber to or made straight from a tree in the backyard.
It can either have the traditional tent shape or any free-form shape you’d like such as a square, rectangle, or even a half-circle.
How to make a bird feeder?
What you need:
- Timber of choice
- nails/ screws
- Impact driver
- Pen & paper
- Hooks & brackets
- Optional power tools (drill/driver, saw, staple gun).
The steps to build a yard bird feeder
- Determine the size of the landing box. One (1) 12-foot board is standard to construct a small 4×2 ft box. (Make sure the timber has not got chemical treatment in it.)
- Mark out and begin cutting down your pieces to the right sizes.
- Line the boards up with each other and form a rectangle. Drill at least 3 pilot holes into each corner about ¾-inch from the edge. The middle hole should be centered exactly on the midpoint of the board.
- Fasten using screws or, if you prefer using nails, drive the nails in until they firmly hold the corners in place. (Screws are recommended).
- Now measure the internal dimensions to determine the size of the base.
- With your base now measured and cut out, place it beneath the box and attach it into place using either screws or nails.
- Drill drain holes at the bottom or put the base at a slight angle to avoid puddles.
- Finish by sanding rough edges and removing and sharp edges.
- Applying food-grade polyurethane for an added layer of durability and aesthetic or some paint.
2. Create a wooden toy rack
Young children tend to go through this phase where they simply love toy cars.
For some, it’s just another fleeting moment, yet for others, it’ll stay as a life-long passion.
Especially if you continue to collect toy and model cars, some of that fascination might rub off on your children and can help develop a really good parent-and-child relationship.
Build a shelf to display and admire your favorite cars with your kids!
How to make a wooden toy rack?
Materials to prepare:
- At least two (2) 12-foot choice wood boards
- Ruler/measuring square
- Tape measure
- Circular saw
- Power sander
- Optional (brad nailer, wood stain, primer, putty knife).
The steps to build a toy rack
- Determine the dimensions and style of your shelves. They can either be hanging shelves or traditional box shelves.
- Measure the layout, and begin cutting pieces to the correct sizes. For hanging shelves, depending on how many of them you want, make sure to keep each piece identical.
- Assemble the pieces and fasten joints together. If you’re building box shelves, according to specifications. Otherwise, space each shelf evenly along the wall and with enough headroom between levels.
- Finish by sanding and, if you like, staining.
3. Easy to build wooden chimes
Wind chimes are great decoratives and can be very easy, quick wood projects for kids. With just a couple of common house tools, you and your kids can make beautiful sounding and natural-looking chimes.
How to make wooden wind chimes?
- 1-2 meters of Bamboo (or rounded wood of your choice)
- Ruler and pencil
- Hand saw
- Power drill
The steps to build wooden chimes
- Make sure you have a long enough piece to get at least two 30-inch pieces, three 15-inch pieces, and a 20-inch piece from.
- Mark out the workpiece and cut out the ‘clappers’. On one of the 15-inch pieces, measure 4 inches up from the bottom and carefully make a horizontal cut going about halfway down.
- Split the piece at the horizontal cut. Do this for the other two 15-inch pieces.
- Cut out the 30-inch pieces and the 20-inch hanger or body.
- Drill around 5 holes in the 20-inch piece. Start the 1st hole about 5 inches from the edge with the successive ones at 2-inch intervals. Drill a hole at the bottom of each 15-inch piece.
- Drill holes in the clapper bits.
- Check for splinters in the drilled pieces and sand/smoothen everything down. You can also add stains or coating if you want.
- Tie at least a 2-foot piece of twine on the hanger.
- Assemble the chime and thread all drilled pieces. Make sure to alternate the poles in this layout: 15” || 30” until all 5 are hanging.
4. Carve a DIY welcome sign
A welcome sign tops off any hospitable household. Make your home cozy and welcoming by placing these in front of doors and entrances.
How to DIY welcome signage with the kids?
Tools and materials needed:
- At least a 5-foot wood board
- Paint, chip, and craft brushes
- Carbon paper
- A small jar
- Tin snips
- A screwdriver
- $” hose clamp
- Optional (power drill, impact driver).
The steps to build a welcome sign
- Choose wood that’s weather resistant. Alternatively, you can also coat it with exterior paint.
- Prepare the board. Do refinements and apply finishes before proceeding to the letter.
- Choose a font you like and individually print out the W E L C O M E letters. These will serve as your no-stencil layout. Choose an appropriate size and spacing.
- Trim them down for easier handling and use tape to determine spaces. Slide the carbon paper beneath the letters and trace along the edges to ‘imprint’ along with the board.
- Outline and fill in the letters with paint.
- Add finishing touches and decoratives if you wish.
5. Make a small bookshelf
Building a small bookshelf can prove very useful for the entire family.
Everyone can use it and it’s simple enough to build yet engaging enough to also improve on latent and potential DIY skills.
This is a great starter project to really get your kids into woodworking.
How to make a wooden bookshelf?
What you need:
- x1 sheet of choice plywood
- 2 1x2x6’ choice wood board
- a 1x3x2’ choice wood board
- Tape measure and pen
- Power sander
- Power drill, impact driver
- Power saw
- Wood glue
- Optional (wood stain).
The steps to build a small bookshelf
- Determine the size of your bookshelf to know the dimensions of the components. Cut them down to size from the sheets and boards. The materials listed are enough for a 16×32” sized shelf with 15-inch wide shelves.
- Assemble the shelf’s frame. Drill at least ¼” pocket holes on the side panels and shelf pieces. Drill ¾” pocket holes for the topmost piece that’ll support both the backing and face frame.
- Add pinholes to make shelves adjustable.
- Add the backing. Fasten into place by using either screws or a nailer.
- Build and attach the face frame. Depending on the actual dimensions of your design, the frame pieces themselves are usually 1x2s and 1x3s. Join with wood glue.
- Sand, apply a topcoat, and complete with a finish.
6. Make their own DIY toolbox.
Instead of buying your kids their very 1st toolbox, a better and probably more lasting option is to help them build their own.
A toolbox made by one’s hands to carry the very tools used in its making is definitely more sentimental and unique.
How to help your kid make his first DIY toolbox?
- 2 1×8 choice lumber (8 ½” long FACES)
- a 1×8 choice lumber (14” long FLOORING)
- 2 1×4 choice lumber (14” long SIDES)
- ½ inch dowels
- A rounded 14” long piece of choice wood (rod/handle)
- Tape measure and marker,
- Spirit level
- Power drill
- Optional (wood glue)
The steps to build a small toolbox
- Mark the cutting lines on your stock boards. It’s recommended to use an L-square along with the tape measure to maintain precision.
- Begin cutting out the components according to the specified measures in the portion of the material. For the sides, they can be squares or special shapes depending on what you like. Just be sure to maintain the HEIGHT (8 ½”).
- Trim pieces with irregular shapes. Make sure to maintain symmetry.
- Drill pilot holes about ⅓” from the edges along with all points of connecting pieces. Only leave out the handle.
- Smooth out edges and surfaces.
- Assemble the pieces and fasten (or glue) into place using dowels, finger joins, or with a biscuit joiner (with supervision).
- Sand down and apply the finish.
7. A kid’s first workbench.
A step even higher than a toolbox would be a workbench. Building a kid’s workbench often cements a youngster’s love for the craft and will serve as their foundation for years to come.
How to make a kid’s first workbench?
Tools and materials to prepare:
- 2 of each: 8-foot 2×2, 1×4, and 1×1 choice pine boards
- 1 of each: 2×4 ½” and ¾” plywood sheet
- A 2×4 ¼” pegboard
- 1 ¼” – 2” pocket hole screws
- Power saw
- Orbital sander
- Power drill
- Wood glue
- Nailgun (optional)
The steps to build a small workbench for kids
- Begin by cutting the rear legs and stretchers from the 2×2 stock and the back stretcher from the 1×4.
- Drill pocket holes on the backside of the pegboard stretchers then connect this to the back legs to make the back assembly.
- Cut 4 pieces of 1×1 to use as cleats for mounting the pegboard and attach it to the back with wood glue.
- Attach the back shelf stretcher using 1 ¼” pocket hole screws.
- Now cut the front legs from the other 2×2 and front stretchers from the 1x4s.
- Piece together the front assembly and attach side rails in line with the stretchers to connect it with the back assembly. Use 1 ¼” pocket hole screws.
- With the frame in place, cut out cleats for the shelf support. Use leftovers from the 2×4 ¾” stocks.
- Plug up the pocket holes on the side rails.
- Cut a shelf to size from the ½” plywood. Notch the corners at ⅜”. Cut the shelf top and round the corners.
- Attach the pegboard and add organizers as you like.
8. Board game storage/ Or custom boxes
A board game storage can be as normal as a narrow shelf or something fancier such as a custom box which will be more durable and also makes it possible to carry board games and other even other things around more readily.
How to make board game storage or custom boxes with kids?
- Choice wood board (MDF is also viable)
- Circular saw
- Power sander
- Tape measure & marker
- Wood glue
- Optional (wood router, brad nailer, power drill, impact driver).
1. Determine the size/dimensions of the project.
Regular 1×4 works well in general.
2. Cut pieces down to size.
For shelves, take into account the length and width of shelf plates, bases, and shelf spacing, especially if you have lots of different board games.
- For custom boxes, make sure that you cut your piece so that the edges are a snug fit for the target object. Allot a little excess if you plan to install inner lining material such as padding or insulation.
3. Join wood pieces.
Shelf assembly is similar to the one mentioned in “A small bookshelf”. You can instead use wood glue and dowels to join pieces as opposed to nails or screws. A biscuit joiner also works well.
- Assemble your custom box, leaving the top portion open.
- You can use a thin MDF board for a lightweight base.
4. Sand and smooth out the edges, round corners, and apply the finish.
- Choose a lid type for your custom box (hinged, sliding, etc.)
- Cut the lid piece to size; it could also be MDF with a poly.
- Install the necessary mechanics (E.G routed slots for sliding lids).
9. Make their own wood spinning tops
A fun wood project for kids are spinning tops they are among the simplest as well as oldest of toys. Their age does not take away from their enjoyment as tops are still as much mesmerizing as they were when 1st invented.
Dive into a little history and fun when making your own wooden spinning tops!
How to make wood spinning tops?
- Choice size of wooden wheel (must have at least a ¼” hole)
- Wooden dowel whose width is the same size as the hole
- Pencil sharpener
- Clipper/hand saw
- Optional (wood router, power saw, knife/chisel, power sander, wood glue).
The steps to take to make a wooden spinning top
- Cut a dowel to be used for spinning
- Mark and cut out a hole in the center of a square plate that’s about a 10th of an inch more than the width of the dowel as the spinning base. You can use a hole saw for this.
- Drill out a hole in the perfect center of the base to insert the dowel later.
- It’s recommended to make a dowel jig to more easily pound the dowels into the wheels. Line the hole of the wheel with a little bit of wood glue.
- Carve out the spinning point by sharpening one end of the base using a carving knife.
- Center the wheel’s hole with the hole of the jig. Line the dowel and proceed to drive it into the wheel.
- Remove the jig and cut off the excess dowel bit at the top.
- Sand, fill, and paint over the dowel stump (if there are any holes) to conceal.
- Refine and paint the wheels if you want to give them a little color and vibrance.
Alternatively, you can also stack increasingly larger pieces of square boards; glue them together; and shape them into a round triangle with a wood router.
Carve details out such as grooves with a carving chisel. Sand and apply a protective finish. Let’s see who can make the biggest spinning top.
Tips to keep building fun and exciting for the kids
- Keep projects relatively simple, but fun.
- Familiarize them with the tools you’ll be using.
- Be engaging. Show them how it’s done then ask them to do it.
- Let them take the lead, especially in times when they know exactly what to do next.
- Answer their questions and also ask them a few relating to the project every now and then.
- Take a break every hour or so if it’s a rather long build.
- Reward/congratulate them for doing something right and show them how it’s done right if they do it incorrectly. Never berate or give them backlash.
Teach kids safe DIY practices
Teach how to use safety gear
Show and teach them the importance of always wearing proper safety gear.
This instills an innate sense of caution and can help negate carelessness in years to come.
Give supervision for using power tools
Doing so teaches kids to care for tools, themselves, and others whenever they’re in a working environment. Depending on experience, always be there to safely guide them when using tools.
Teach them proper work ethics and protocols. Show them how to move in a workshop and how to properly use items such as a workbench, toolbox, etc.
Teach your kids how to listen to safety warnings, and how to communicate creative ideas.
Don’t forget to teach the importance of never putting your hands in your pockets. These habits can be ingrained and help later on in life.
When are kids old enough to start DIY and craft?
You know your kids best and their level of focus you want your children to feel like they are being challenged but at the same time know they are safe when tackling a project.
Depending on the level of supervision you can give will depend on what projects you can do.
When kids learn DIY you as a parent need to be there to supervise until they learn the dos and donts.
What tools to let kids use when starting woodworking?
Start with hand tools only, get the fundamental skills good first.
Start with mastering the traditional wood chisel, a handsaw, tape measure, and maintaining a sharp pencil.
Food small wood projects and younger kids you can go with a manual hand drill.
Keep things interesting and by adding in power tools as your kids improve this will let them feel like there are improving and it will motivate them to keep getting better.
Dangerous power tools not for kids to use are
- Table saws.
- Electric circular saws.
- Angle grinders.
Tools to introduce later on
Introducing other power tools can come in after sufficient hand tool experience has been made, and safety conciseness, strength, and coordination have been well established.
Expect at least 6 months to get the basics of any new skillset.
- Electric planer. (My favorite) It’s safe because it won’t kick back like a saw can but it’s dangerous because you have to be very conscious of the spinning blade. Start with teaching kids how to use a hand planer, the fundamentals are the same.
- 18v Cordless circular saw. All power saws are dangerous (Read this guide) but you can’t do much long-term without one. With an 18v saw it has less power and it is safer and easier to control than a standard power saw, plus it can still do everything.
- A wood router. Again the tool won’t kick back as a bladed saw can but awareness of the blade is critical. Operating a wood router is actually a bit difficult so should be saved for later.
Woodworking can be enjoyed even at younger ages as well as into retirement. In fact, as with most professional skill sets, the younger you get into woodworking, the better they will be as they grow.
Woodworking with your kids not only helps them maintain their personal capabilities but also lets you bond with your children, improving relationships and potentially starting their very own passion for DIY.
You can choose from different starter projects here, so get to it and get your kids on their way to earning their very own builder’s certificate. Or in the meantime making some pocket money.
Invest in new tools and slowly work on completing the toolkit, Stick with quality brands that are safer and will last into the future and not become useless if DIY or building becomes a serious thing as skills improve. The best bet is to start by looking into the Dewalt vs Makita debate.
My name is Aaron, and welcome to Bangingtoolbox.
As a qualified builder and DIY’er, my goal with Banging Toolbox is to provide the #1 building and DIY resource on the internet for my readers.
I’m here to show people how to start DIY, and to help qualified professionals take building to the next level.
Feel free to have a look around, and don’t hesitate to ask me any questions, you can find out more about me here.