Woodworking Projects for 5 Year Olds

woodworking projects for 5 year olds

How do you make a project interesting for your 5 year old without being too hard?

Here is a short list of projects that will at the very least give you some ideas

Easier Ideas (where to start)

Interlocking Wooden discs

There’s a toy out there called ‘Brain Flakes‘. The amazon link is there if you want a picture but it’s simply some thin pieces of plastic that interlock.

Although it might seem a little mundane as a woodworking project, kids would get confident quite quickly in sawing (and maybe drilling).

You could make a jig so that measuring was easy (a piece of 1/8″ or 3mm ply that only needs to be traced) and you’d have a toy they can use after. Which is a good way to avoid frustration and include more building.

And all you need for this project is some 1/8″ or 3mm ply and maybe some paint.

Chalkboard and Shelf

You could simply paint some 3/4″ (19mm) together and screw a shelf on it, or go all out and make an easel.

Either way there’s enough jobs for your 5-year-old to do to keep him or her busy.

Make your own wand set

Build Your Own Wand

Grab some different thickness dowel, cut some shapes out of some wood and drill some holes.

It’s a great project because you can entice your kids to make their own by asking if they want a special one.

This way they take more ownership of it. All the details you need for this project are here.

Pencil Caddy

Pencil Caddy

I’ve done this many times with older kids (about 10y.o.) and they all love it. Mostly because it involves hammering.

If you want to do it with your 5-year-old, I suggest taking the measuring out of it with some 1/8″ (3mm) ply with holes in it where you want the nail holes marked.

You will need some 1/8″ (3mm) ply and some 1/2″ (12mm) ply or solid for this. As well as a vice.

Scrap Bin Fun

Just the scrap bin and their imagination can be a good project for kids. I have a few more ideas with the scrap bin below but this video explains the concept better than I can:

Watch for the ‘Empty box effect’

Scrap Bin – Rube Goldberg Machine

These projects can be a lot of fun and only take what you have lying around.

This video is a good simple example. Some of the ideas you can use are:

  • Marbles
  • Dominos
  • Levers
  • Pulleys

Here’s a video with more ideas. There is electronic music over the top so if you don’t like that be sure to mute your sound before pressing play.

Mute your sound.

Scrap Bin – Stacker

There’s no reason why stackers have to be easy. With a little imagination yours could be a little challenging.

Give your child access to the scrap bin and let them use their imagination to create different shapes, sand them up and presto you have yourself a game for family entertainment

Of course if you didn’t want to use your imagination then there’s always Jenga.

A little more involved


Making a clock is a great synergy between engineering and imagination. The clock mechanism needs to be put on correctly, but after that, you can get creative with how your clock will look.

You only need the mechanism and a piece of 3/4″ (19mm)

Golf Tee Projects

I’ve had an idea I got from a picture that I saw somewhere, and a toy my wife bought from my son. It’s about instead of building something and giving it to your child, give it to them so they can ‘build it’.

The first idea was around the use golf tees instead of nails. This way kids (from 2-6y.o.) can use their toy hammer to put a project together.

An adult needs to do the bulk of the work (cutting, shaping, drilling, etc.) but once it’s done the child can build and re-build until their heart’s content.

Some ideas for this are toy:

  • Car
  • Boat
  • Plane

And the other usual suspects.

I haven’t done this yet so there is a bit of working out that needs to happen and some trial and error. But not too much

Off to the Shop

Thanks for reading. If you are interested in more projects for you and your child to bond over, including drawings, templates, and how-to videos then…

Check out these exciting project ideas designed to help you bond with your child(s)