Every year, my high school invites younger children to test it out and see if they like it.
Woodwork is a big part of it.
My session time is only one hour so the project I do is the pencil caddy. But given more time or different circumstances, there are a few more projects that could be done. Here’s the list:
These projects for 10
1. Pencil Caddy
We cut all the material up prior, and even make some templates up so the kids don’t have to measure where the nails go.
Ideally you’d have longer than an hour (to sand and even paint).
2. Monster Truck
This is a great project that will take an afternoon or two. There’s plenty of skill building and tool using. Your child(s) can also customize their truck how they want (see above).
3. Door Stop
At first I thought making a door stop was a bit to basic. But I have changed my tune. And for young people, they can let their creativity out. All you need is the wedge (which is going to do the work) then attach a piece of ply to the flat end.
Your child(s) can draw a picture on it, cut it out with a coping saw, and sand it. Then to customize it they can paint it, use the burner or anything else you have at your disposal (glitter, stain/dye, stick more wooden blocks on for a 3D effect, etc.)
4. Couch Caddy
This is a classic project. Measure the size of your armrest on your couch, then cut a few pieces that will stabilize on the armrest.
Then give your
5. Small Box
No points for creativity on this one. It will work better if it’s a box they can put something inside (trading cards, collectables, stationary, etc.).
All you need is to cut up the sides, top and base and help mark where the nails go. Making a box then cutting it open with a saw (can-opening) is probably the easiest way to put it together.
A teacher at my school does this with a little cushion on top for sewing needles and the like. It’s one way to customize a box.
Projects Requiring Direct Supervision
These projects your 10-year-old will need direct supervision and some help. The plus side is that there is a bit more scope to make bigger and more detailed things.
1. Magnetic Building Discs
Magnets are fun and kids generally love them. You can harness this interest by creating some magnet building blocks.
All you need is some magnets like these ones. Then create whatever building blocks you like (my son has a set that are about 5mm thick and different shapes (like squares, triangles, quarter circles, etc.)
Drill the appropriate size hole in them and stick the magnet in so it’s all the way in.
Then you can build things together and have a play set that will last.
A good one to do before Mothers or Fathers day. All you need that you might not have is a gouging chisel. (See link for picture)
3. Money Box
You can do
The way I would approach it is with 6 pieces of 1/2″ (12mm) pine, then cut out your shape. On the pieces on the inside, cut a cavity in for the coins to go. Then create a type of plug underneath, either with a tight fitting piece of wood, or something you can screw on and off.
Got a lathe and want to get your kid on there? Lathes are awesome fun, and they will get your young person(s) addicted to your shop.
To make your skittles i’d make a cut out template first, then replicate it on the lathe 6 or 10 times.
My kids have a set of skittles that are a little customized. The top of the skittle looks like a horse or pony and they are all different colors. Another project that is only limited by your imagination.
You can also make the ball on the lathe. This guy has a good technique with the template and plastic cup.
Get kids in their early and often. They enjoy doing stuff and being creative, and we enjoy seeing the next generation show an appreciation for tools and techniques.
It’s a win-win.
For more project ideas you can see all of my awesome projects here.