TIPS ... teaching young children

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What are your tips, tricks, strategies .. and questions.. .re: teaching young children how to do woodworking?

Toxins Out, Nature In - body/mind/spirit

It is very important that a kids first experiences in the shop is fun. Kids don’t really know that woodworking skills aren’t as easy as they seem when dad or granddad is making something, so they usually expect to get good and quick results right away, and many of them will probably be discouraged and disappointed if they don’t.

In my opinion the best kind of tool to start the kids with is a scrollsaw. It’s fast, accurate and very easy to make stuff first time out. Kids learn it real fast and they love it. Some instruction and observation is important for safety’s sake and also to make sure they learn the right techniques. I started my grandsons using the scrolls without the pressure foot. A little challenging, but exciting! I taught them how to keep downward pressure on the workpiece and how to guide and spin it with the other hand to make turns and a lot of other tricks, but just one technique at a time to prevent mental overload. Once they mastered a technique we went to the next level.

My own grandkids made all their Christmas presents for their parent, siblings and other grandparents in a couple of sessions including their first try.

Mike, an American living in Norway

For my grandkids first trip I had a bird house already made one. They got to pick out the wood to make one each from. Then draw out what needed to be cut. I would do the cuts for them based on their skills, the oldest got to use the jigsaw on his own. Then they all got portable drills ans screws. Once completed they each got to sand and paint. Now they beg my daughter to take them to the shop. I just have to make sure I have spare materials around in case they just pop in to poppy’s shop.

CHRIS, Charlottetown PEI Canada. Anytime you can repurpose, reuse, or recycle, everyone wins!

I like to teach my young helpers how to use hand tools without batteries first.I think it is important to learn on tools that develope your hammer, brace and bit, hand saw.


I started my great niece with carving a simple penguin. She was able to finish it in time to submit it to our local carving show and she won a ribbon. She was thrilled. She is now on to the scroll saw and loves it.


I have older daughter.. my kids but not kids. I found that helping them make something that they want for their place is the best way. I’ve done this with a nephew and my daughter. They see that, yes there is stuff to learn but it isn’t a huge mystery. With the right tools, and maybe youtube, they can do it. The nephew now has a nice shop and a daughter wants one someday.

Dan Gagner, Craftsman on the lake. The lake is calm, the wife is understanding, the wood is dry. What more is there...