When looking for fun, safe, and creative wood projects for kids, there are some important things to keep in mind. Kids mature at different rates and have different likes and dislikes, so prioritizing the child’s needs will be a step towards success. Also, children as old as 12 and 13 years may still struggle with fine motor skills due to developing hand dexterity. Safety is also an important factor that will inform which wood projects for kids are best.
For very young children, wood projects using glue and popsicle sticks are both safe and relatively inexpensive. Kids can build bird houses or simple picture frames that can be painted. Taking a picture of the child busily at work building his frame, then putting it in the frame afterwards makes a precious gift and keepsake. These types of wood projects for kids can inspire the joy of working with wood and can expand to include using tools as the child grows.
Kids who are old enough to be aware of the dangers of hand tools and who have developed more dexterity may be ready for more advanced wood projects. A simple wooden planter may be an appropriate activity for older children. Any activity involving tools, nails, screws, or other such materials should be carefully supervised by an adult, however. Rules of safety should be thoroughly discussed prior to engaging in such projects, and protective gloves or eyewear may be necessary.
Wood projects for young adolescents provide an opportunity for teaching some basic shop safety while also learning to use electric hand tools. Fun projects for this age include building clocks, birdhouses, and decorative storage boxes. Allowing the child to choose what he wants to build is one way to be sure the child’s needs come first, and to ensure the project is best for that child.
Safety and age appropriateness are primary concerns in choosing the best wood projects for kids, but cost and level of difficulty are also factors. Weighing the child's ability and interest level will be helpful, and doing so can prevent spending a lot of money on wood, tools, and supplies for inappropriate projects. Many times, it is not the type of wood project but the attention and involvement of the parent or trusted adult that kids will enjoy most. A simple and affordable wood project can prove to be a quality, relationship-building activity.