We’ve all seen the headline-grabbing articles telling us that kids are spending way too much time on their phones and/or playing those accursed video games, but in reality, most kids are pretty well-balanced little humans who have a lot more self-awareness than most of us give them credit for. This being said, there are loads of kids who are interested in other things besides technology, from horse riding and camping to painting and even woodwork. Are there age-appropriate wood projects for kids though? Let’s have a look at the type of woodwork that could be right for you and your kids as well as a few examples of wood projects for kids that you can do with relative ease in the comfort of your home.
Table of Contents
- 1 What Type of Woodwork Projects Are Appropriate for Kids?
- 2 Simple Woodworking Projects for Kids
- 2.1 Catapult
- 2.2 Wooden Birdhouse
- 2.3 Wooden Poster Frame
- 2.4 Wooden Wind Chimes
- 2.5 Wooden Crayon Holder
- 2.6 Wooden Coaster Set
- 2.7 Wooden Spinning Tops
- 2.8 Wooden Storage Crates
- 2.9 Wooden Playhouse
- 2.10 Wooden Building Blocks
- 2.11 Simple Wooden Stamps
- 2.12 Wooden Frame Tent
- 2.13 Wooden Chairs
- 2.14 Wooden Toothbrush Holders
- 2.15 Wooden Piggy Bank
- 2.16 Portable Checkers Game
- 2.17 Wooden Block Robot
- 2.18 Wooden Popsicle Stick Fence
- 2.19 Wooden Popsicle Stick Lantern Face
- 2.20 Simple Wooden X Coasters
- 3 Frequently Asked Questions
What Type of Woodwork Projects Are Appropriate for Kids?
Kids are more capable than most of us give them credit for but considering the fact that most kids aren’t tall enough nor have fine motor skills to use a table saw, we should probably define what type of projects are good for kids up to around ten years old. Some of the best woodwork projects for kids (as with all of us) are the kind that they can use and interact with every day.
You should try to aim for easy woodwork projects for kids, the kind that will enable you and your little ones to bond while developing their skills and hopefully instilling a love for woodworking at a young age. Even if they don’t follow through and develop their woodworking skills further, it will teach them some valuable skills that may or may not be valuable in the future.
So, what are some easy woodwork projects for kids? Well, for starters you don’t want to confront kids with anything that needs too much preparation and/or math or you could risk them losing interest. Aim for something that requires minimal preparation and has just the right number of parts to keep them interested so that they’ll see it through to the end.
Another good idea is to choose something that kids can customize and really use to exercise their creativity. This means that wooden and plastic bits that can be painted or are good for placing stickers on are a good bet. This will allow them to really make their workpiece their own while not limiting them to a picture they saw on the packaging.
Getting pre-packaged woodworking kits for kids isn’t a bad idea though. If this will be the first time your little ones will be working with wood and fasteners (or practical work in general) this will make the learning curve far less steep. The nice part about these kits is that they contain all of the parts and tools they’ll need to get started which should save you a lot of time running around.
Simple Woodworking Projects for Kids
If you’re looking to get your kids into woodworking one of the best places to start is to get them a child-appropriate woodworking kit. As we mentioned previously these have pretty much everything that you’ll need to get started including tools and raw materials, but if you’re considering starting from scratch here are a few simple woodworking projects for kids that are sure to provide both them and you with hours of fun.
While this isn’t the Middle Ages, it doesn’t mean that catapults are completely useless, especially when your kids can use them to chuck things at one another. This is perfect for hours of fun pour doors, or indoors if you’re able to get your hands on some soft ammunition for them. This is one of those simple wood projects for kids that can be built in an hour or two and will keep them busy for days on end.
All that you need to get started is a wooden clothing peg, two wooden blocks, a popsicle stick, and some wood glue, and they’ll be well on their way to seeing how far they can chuck things across your backyard. This simple wood project for kids is one of the least expensive and easy-to-make workpieces on this list, and it’s pretty good value for money too.
Looking for something fun that also has the potential to teach your kids some basic construction skills? If you do, then building a birdhouse with them is a great idea. Not only is this a fun crafting idea, but it has the potential to get your kids interested in nature and might even lead to a lifelong interest in wildlife, which is always cool.
The nice part about this is that you don’t have to follow a particular design, feel free to attach your birdhouse to the wall of your home, or your garden fence, or you could go for the classic approach of putting your birdhouse in a tree or attaching it to a post. Kids can paint, decorate, or put stickers on their new birdhouse exterior, and even add a small feeder to attract their new feathered friends.
Wooden Poster Frame
If there’s one thing that kids love in their rooms is posters of things that they like. Whether it’s Frozen or Cars, kids love seeing their favorite characters in their space, so why not preserve their heroes (and anything else they can fit) in a beautiful frame? This way their pictures and posters won’t ever wrinkle or get little sticky handprints all over them.
The cool thing about this is they can help with the putting together of the frame and paint it themselves, which is a great way for them to learn some painting and woodworking skills. Depending on their age, you might need to help them with the screws, nails, and cutting of the wood, but other than that the rest should be pretty kid safe.
Wooden Wind Chimes
First off, who doesn’t like wind chimes? They’re shiny and they make calming sounds and that’s pretty much their only job, and they’re pretty good at it too! Making wind chimes is pretty easy, all that you need is some string or rope and objects that make a sound when they collide with one another, and it’s one of the easiest wood crafts for kids out there.
Like some of the other crafts that we mentioned you can get this done pretty easily and kids can have a fun time decorating the frame, and if they want, even decorate the glass! Glass is optional but it does add a nice touch to the finish, just be sure to get it cut beforehand and help your little one place it inside the frame.
Wooden Crayon Holder
Do your kids have a messy room? Are there toys and pens and pencils all over the place? Well, what if we told you there was a way to both organize their rooms and have some fun at the same time? Introducing the crayon holder! These are great wood crafts for kids that have the potential to teach them organizational skills and co-ordination in one activity.
The nice thing about these crayon holders is that you don’t have to just use them for crayons, as they also fit pencils, pens, and even retractable crayons! Plus, they’re a super easy and highly customizable wood project that enables kids to take control and shape their immediate environment. Like all of the crafts on this list, kids can paint and decorate their crayon holder with anything their heart desires.
Wooden Coaster Set
This one might be more for you than the kids, but it’s a fun activity, nonetheless. Kids are easily distracted, and it’s pretty likely that there have been more than a few instances of moisture stains found on your spotless wooden furniture. Coasters are the obvious solution, but they aren’t much use unless the little ones actually want to use them.
This being said, making the coasters themselves and decorating them with their favorite characters or simply painting fun things on them is a great way to ensure that they’ll use the coasters in the future. If you’d like to ensure that the coasters last. We recommend coating them in epoxy resin but be sure to supervise the little ones as resin fumes can be toxic if inhaled.
Wooden Spinning Tops
Sure, there are loads of games and other technological toys on the market for kids today, but who doesn’t like a good old-fashioned spinning top? These are really easy to make, and you can fashion them into pretty much any shape you can think of. Make a couple of them so your little ones can play with their friends or even give them away as gifts.
All you really need is some wood glue, and hand saw, and some sanding paper, and you’ll be well on your way to making some of the coolest spinning tops for your kids. These are particularly fun because kids can paint patterns on them that change once the top gains momentum, and it will provide them with hours of non-electronic fun to give their brains some much-needed rest.
Wooden Storage Crates
Looking for a way to trick your kids into organizing their things instead of leaving them all over the house? Why not convince them to make a neat little storage box for all of their toys and gadgets? This is one of the most useful DIY wood projects for kids, just be sure that the size of the box you guys will be making is manageable if they’ll be helping to put the box together.
These DIY wood projects for kids are among the most intriguing because kids have the opportunity to customize both the inside and outside of the box to their liking. Whether they’d like the interior to be open plan or to have compartments is entirely up to them, plus they can have fun decorating the exterior of the box with paint, stickers, or pictures of their friends, family, and favorite characters.
Do your kids want a treehouse, but you aren’t quite ready for the possibility of them falling out of one? Well, a wooden playhouse might be the next best thing. This is definitely a project for bigger kids and is one of those perfect father-and-son wood projects for the school holidays (daughters too – the more the merrier) that will leave you and your kids with a huge sense of accomplishment.
Kids can learn basic structural design and construction techniques, not to mention insulation and waterproofing in one fell swoop. Plus, they’ll have the opportunity to decorate and organize the interior of their play area as well as paint the playhouse exterior the color of their choosing. If you’re in the mood to surprise them, why not fill the interior with some of the wooden toys we’ve covered previously?
Wooden Building Blocks
The age group of kids who would appreciate this probably aren’t ready to work with hand tools which means that the preparation part is entirely on you. Wooden blocks are fun though and they have the added benefit of endless possibilities. All you need is some wood board that you’ll be able to portion out into some blocks and sand them down for smoothness.
Once your blocks have been made you and your little ones can go about decorating them any way you’d like. You can make things like little puzzles for the kids to solve, paint numbers along with some addition and subtraction symbols on them, or simply place letters on them to help develop their spelling ability. This is one of the most versatile creations when it comes to woodworking for kids.
Simple Wooden Stamps
While email has pretty much made postal mail redundant, it doesn’t mean that stamps are done for too. You can make your own little wooden stamps for your kids to use when they’re drawing or painting, and you can help them customize them to stamp out their names, favorite characters, favorite animals, and even little faces! The sky’s the limit and it’s loads of fun to use them.
Feel free to use any wood that you have leftover to make these. Just make sure that any sharp edges have been sanded off for the safety of the little ones. Once sanded, all you have to do is carve out the symbols you’d like into the business end of the stamp, get some paint or ink for the kids to use and they’ll be well on their way to stamping anything they can get their hands on.
Wooden Frame Tent
Trying to get your kids out of the house? Why not consider making them their very own wooden frame tent for them to use in your backyard? This is one of those perfect father-and- son wood projects (or mother-daughter as we all love the outdoors) that will allow your little ones to experience the outdoors without you having to worry about them dealing with tent pegs or anchoring lines.
All you need are some wooden planks, some screws, and some fabric to make a fully collapsible and easy-to-put-up tent that your kids and their friends can use to camp out in the backyard. They can add paint, ribbons, stickers, and even extend the tent as they get older which is great value for money if you’ve looked at the price of tents recently.
While your kids might already have some chairs of their own, this is a perfect summer project for you and them to really get in the mood of the season. Besides, they’ll be so proud of their own chairs that it might lead to even more woodwork projects in the future! All you need for these simple wooden chairs are two pieces of wood board and some screws and you’re good to go.
While they might not be particularly comfortable, removable padding can be added, especially if they’re going to be at your poolside and you don’t want the padding to get wet once they get out of the pool and pop a squat. Kids can decorate these chairs themselves or you can go ahead and add a nice layer of wood stain to ensure that the wood isn’t damaged over time.
Wooden Toothbrush Holders
If you’re looking for a woodwork project that kids can do on their own, then the wooden toothbrush holder might be just what you need. The level of competency needed for this design is suitable for kids around 10 and up, if you have kids younger than this you might want to do the groundwork for them and allow them to decorate it once everything has been cut and sanded.
You can make a toothbrush holder in pretty much any shape you can think of, stars, moons, their favorite cartoon character, and even their name if you have the tools to cut and carve a form that intricately. This doesn’t have to be for the kids alone though, these toothbrush holders make awesome housewarming and birthday gifts too!
Wooden Piggy Bank
Teaching kids to save can be tough, but the age-old trick to teaching kids anything is to make it as fun as possible and sneak the knowledge in there without them knowing it. This being said, what makes saving more fun for little ones than having a fun shape to keep it in? These piggy banks don’t even have to be piggy-shaped; you can make them into any shape they fancy and hopefully some sensible saving ensues.
How do you make these? All you need is a relatively thick wooden board to cut the shape of the piggy bank out of. Once you have the shape, cut a hole in the middle (this is where the money goes) and cut a slot in the 2D shape to function as a makeshift shaft for notes and coins. Next, sand the surface of the workpiece and add some plastic to the exterior of the bank with some rivets or self-tapping screws.
Portable Checkers Game
Technically, this one doesn’t even need to be made out of wood, but nice this is about woodworking for kids we’re going to be making your checkers pieces out of wood. What do you need? All you need is a ruler, a handsaw, and a long wooden dowel (with a reasonable diameter for smaller hands). Using your ruler mark the dowel in equal increments until you have enough for a checkers board.
Using your handsaw, cut the dowel and sand down the pieces so that they’re nice and smooth. These checkers pieces can be painted in the traditional red and black colors or in your little one’s favorite colors to spice things up a bit. Finally, for your checker’s board, you can use your ruler to mark out the board’s outline on a board, or if you’re feeling creating, on a tote bag so the game can be carried and played wherever your kids find themselves.
Wooden Block Robot
Woodworking for kids is the most fun when they’re able to use the things that they’re making. We’ve covered a lot of toys on this list, but this is by far one of the coolest ones, and all you need to make it is a drill, some rope, a saw, and some paint! These little wooden block robots are sure to catch your kid’s imagination for hours of creative fun.
All you need to do is cut (or buy) wooden blocks of the appropriate size, drill the holes as needed and thread them together. The blocks can be sanded, painted, stained, or have stickers added to them either by yourself or by the little ones. You can even go as far as to add 3D features if you have some extra wood layering around your workspace.
Wooden Popsicle Stick Fence
This one works as a fun woodworking project and can be used for things like dioramas for school projects. All that you need are some wooden popsicle sticks or some paint mixings sticks and some glue to get started. Join the sticks together in the form of a wooden fence and let the kids paint them as they wish.
This is a really straightforward project for kids of all ages and the principle can be applied to bigger pieces of wood too. If you feel like changing things, pipe cleaners, stickers, glitter, and pant can be added to the stick fence to really make it stand out from the crowd. As far as simple woodwork projects for kids go, this is the perfect place to start.
Wooden Popsicle Stick Lantern Face
Chinese-inspired lanterns have always been one of the coolest forms of crafting out there, but recently making those paper lanterns has become a bit expensive. If you’re hoping to have a little bit of fun with your kids but don’t want to go through the trouble of making one of those, why not try out a popsicle stick lantern instead? They’re inexpensive and can be made within an hour if you have the right tools.
You don’t need much either. Just get your hands on some old popsicle sticks or paint mixing sticks, some wax paper, glue, and some tea candles, and you’re pretty much ready to get started. Glue the sticks together to make the frame, have the kids color the wax paper in with an assortment of crayons, pop the wax paper on the frame, pop in your tea candle, and you’re good to go!
Simple Wooden X Coasters
This one is really fun to make, and you could probably make a dozen of them in an hour if you wanted to. It fits in really well if you have a minimalist aesthetic in your home too. All you need to do is join two wooden sticks in a cross and ensure that they’re level. For the latter, create a simple wood join with a knife and use some wood glue to secure it.
We mentioned previously that this fits perfectly if you have a minimalist aesthetic going in your home, but even if you don’t you can color and customize these coasters to fit in with any look you’d like. Plus, they’re tons of fun for kids to make, you could even adhere these to walls or join them to create some interesting set pieces for tabletops.
Now that you have some great kid-friendly art ideas for all sorts of occasions, why not go ahead and try some of them out for yourself? These are a great way to teach kids a number of skills including how to make wood joins, how to work with small tools, how to safely work with adhesives, and more importantly how to use their imaginations to make awesome art that they can use every single day.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Does Woodwork Teach Kids?
There’s actually quite a bit that woodwork can teach young children. Not only does it develop their ability to work practically, and improve their coordination and problem-solving ability, but it also introduces them to creativity, design, and planning processes, in addition to enabling them to explore objects and materials in a controlled setting.
What Are Basic Woodworking Skills for Kids?
While they aren’t strictly necessary, there are a few things that are definitely helpful to know when kids begin their woodworking journey. What are these things? Understanding how wood reacts to forces, how to sharpen and use tools, how to create wood joints, and how to finish and protect wood in the long term.
How Do I Teach My Child to Use Tools?
While it’s always a good idea to teach your kids how to use tools, if they’re underage it’s best to teach them to always ask permission to use them first. Next, teach them basic workshop safety such as wearing appropriate clothing and personal protective gear, always ensuring that the guards on power tools are in place, and always ensure that they’re aware of their immediate environment.
I have been into woodworking since 2005 and woodturning since 2011. Because of my love for wood and woodworking, I started woodhappen.com to teach other enthusiasts about how to finish and seal wood, the best woodworking tools, the different types of wood, and everything else related to woodworking! Read more about me here.