Woodwork Tools Blog

Dec

7

Christmas Woodwork Craft For Kids to Make and Give

Every year leading up to Christmas, my beautiful children (between 7 and 12 years of age) develop a keen interest in making something out of wood for their mum and/or their sisters.

Every year, I find myself faced with the same dilemma – how do I find something that meets their strict requirements of being a suitable gift (which, as the dad, is often not clear to me at all), whilst at the same time have them make something simple enough that we can get it done in the time available. At the same time, I want to give them a project which they are largely able to do by themselves, as this is where they really gain the sense of satisfaction of being able to give a gift that they have truly made, rather than just one that Dad has made for them to give.

Generally, the conversation goes something like this:

Beautiful Child (BC): “Dad, I want to make something for Mum for Christmas”

Dad (D): “Cool – do you know what you want to make?”

BC: “Well, I was thinking of making a clock – you know, one of those ones that is even taller than you (substitute other incredibly complex item here as necessary), then Mum will be able to tell the time even if you are standing in the way!”

D: “Wow – that sounds really cool. Do you think we will have time to make that in the 3 hours we have left before you go to bed tonight on Christmas Eve? What about something a bit simpler – like a stick?”

(insert protracted negotiation here, where BC and D negotiate down to something simpler that may have a chance of being done. Once agreement is reached on a concept, I generally pass it back to them to see how serious they are:)

D: “Cool – a [insert name of simple object here] sounds like something we can do. First thing we need is a plan! You will need to get a bit of paper and a pencil, and draw up what you want it to look like so that we can then build it.” (after all, woodworking plans are a fundamental tool!)

BC then runs off, and 5 minutes later comes back with a sketch of what they have in their head (which I probably should add, often doesn’t align with what I had in my head!).

All in all, I find the process very enjoyable, and love to see them wanting to make gifts for their family, particularly when they come up with an idea that they are able to take through from concept to finished object.

Since I am sure I am not the only father who has entered into such a process, over the next few days I thought I would post some of the creations that they have come up with. Keep in mind that these were designed and largely built by kids, so the craftsmanship and quality may not be up to your standards, but they are all items that I have been incredibly proud to be involved with, and have enjoyed every second of the process. So keep an eye out over the next few days, and if anyone sees fit to use any of the designs, or has other ideas on simple ideas for kids to build, I would love to hear from you in the comments!

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