What do you think is more fun for kids on a Saturday morning? Watching reruns of cartoons on the TV, or making something brand new out of wood that they can play with all day? (Or all month for that matter).
For most kids, it’ll be the latter: they want to design, build and create new things. As a parent, you can do a lot to facilitate their activities. Let’s take a look at some woodworking projects that your kids will love.
Crayons are an excellent tool for building your kid’s artistic competence. But they’re also messy. Nothing is worse than pencil case stuffed full of
Wooden crayon holders are a solution to all your crayon-induced headaches, and they’re easy to make too. Start with a block of wood with enough space for your child’s crayon colouring set (about 14 inches long, three inches wide, and three inches tall). Then start drilling holes with diameters a millimetre larger than the width of the crayons themselves. You’ll want to drill the holes about an inch and a half deep; so deep enough for them to stand up out of the block of wood, but not so deep that they’re hard to grab hold of as they get worn down.
Finally, you and your child can adorn the crayon holder with a label. Use felt-tip or stick-on letters to spell out a message like “CRAYONS.”
Does your child have a bit of an artistic streak? If so, they might enjoy creating wooden stamps. Making a wooden stamp is super easy. It just involves taking a length of wood, often natural, and then cutting shapes into the end of it with tools.
Grab some George Hill timber and some child-safe tools, like a hand drill, and start carving. Then, once you’ve created a series of indentations in the wood, plop the end in some paint and start stamping. See what effects you can create together on paper.
Make A Photo Frame
Does your child love taking pictures with their phone? Why not help them make a photo frame to frame their favourite snaps?
Making photo frames is easy. You’ll need some wood joiners, some glue, a saw, the wood for the frame, and a backing panel. The first step is to make the outline of the frame. Take a length of wood and use a protractor and pencil to mark off a 45-degree angle on the wood. It’s crucial you get this angle precisely right so that when you put the cut pieces of wood back together the other way around, they create a perfect right corner. Use wood joiners to pin the pieces of wood together in a square frame.
Next, attach the backing material (usually a thin piece of wood) to the photo and stick it to the frame. Then all that’s left to do is fix a pin to the wall, grab a piece of string and attach it to a hook on the back of the frame and you’re done.
Wind chimes made of wood? Why not. No, they won’t make a beautiful ringing sound, but they’ll still clatter about when things get blowy outside.
There’s no set way to make wind chimes: anything that’ll blow in the wind and make a pleasant sound will suffice. When making chimes, start by finding a piece of string, some wooden beads and some lengths of light wood, like balsa. Cut the balsa into small segments and then paint them different colours to add visual appeal. Next, drill holes in the pieces of wood and string them together with wooden separating beads. Finally, hang them near a door or outside your home where there’s a draft.
Make A Catapult
A DIY catapult can be one of the most fun things for kids to make. They can spend hours pulling back on the strings and firing (light) objects at targets in the garden. What’s more, DIY catapults aren’t difficult to make. All you need are a few wooden poles, some elasticated cords and a plastic cup.
DIY catapults get their strength through the use of triangles. You’ll need six bamboo canes or similarly-shaped pieces of wood. Arrange them into the shape of a pyramid and bind the corners together with string. Then thread three elastic chords through holes in a plastic cup. Finally, attach the cords to the wooden pyramid structure, one at the top, and two on the bottom corners. Pull back the cup and fire!