In the previous article, we discussed getting your children involved in woodworking – or rather, not holding them back if they want to learn and take on your hobby. Covered were the toddler age, but in part 2 we are going to talk about children that are a little older.
For children between 4-7 years old, teaching woodworking skills might be easier than imagined. Here, working with real tools might not be such a bad idea since they have actually matured from being toddlers. Even better, you can try out advanced topics that will cement your child’s interest in woodworking. Of course, everything needs to be done under direct supervision since your child is not yet out of harm’s way.
Your lessons would be easier if you introduced child-sized woodworking tools (almost the real versions). At this stage, children can benefit from understanding the difference between real and toy tools. Encourage your child to play with the toys all the time. Once you start working on the real projects, you might find your child doing the same during his/her playtime.
For tweens around 8 to 12 years old, the concentration should completely focus on real tools. You can graduate to more advanced projects which builds your child’s skills and techniques. Some of the skills you might want to emphasize on include working with handsaws, cutting, finishing or detailing. There are a few children who might be interested in starting and finishing their own projects.
Therefore, you need to allow the child to do so without hovering. However, you should be close by in case he/she has some questions about the project. If you haven’t handled projects that involved the use of varnish, paint or wood sealer this is the time to do it. Here, you need to emphasize further on safety and more tips or tricks of doing each project safely.
Is There Need For Attending Woodworking Classes Or Consulting Experts?
Yes! There is no time it would hurt to consult a few experts on this matter. If your teaching efforts haven’t given any fruit or if you have taught as far as possible, it might be time to look into some classes. If there are any local woodworking classes where your child can join and learn together with his/her age-mates you should definitely look into it. There are a few experts who offer classes for both parents and their children and it’s a good chance to learn with your child from an expert carpenter.
Contact any expert in your area who has interest in teaching other people and learn more about woodworking. There are a few people who pursue woodworking as a hobby, so don’t forget to check into them as options for teachers. If your child has friends who are interested in woodworking, allow him/her to bring them over to learn or complete a few projects together.
If this happens, provide the necessary safety equipment as well as workbenches for everyone in the group. There are a few kids who might be interested in trying the projects on their own while other might want to do it as a team. Encourage them whichever way possible and allow them to develop their skill accordingly. Try out these tips and hopefully you will be creating the next generation of woodworkers right in your backyard!