At Wood Worx, we love woodworking. It’s what we do, and it thrills us when people take an interest not just in admiring what we create, but in getting that magical itch to create something themselves!
Our joy is especially pronounced when we see children and adolescents getting into woodworking. We think woodworking offers a tremendous amount of benefits for youngsters, and we want to help you to encourage this interest and help it go as far as the kids want it to.
Here are the benefits of getting kids into woodworking and how you can help this interest blossom.
Woodworking is a great activity for youth for a lot of different reasons.
For starters, there’s something fulfilling and confidence-building about doing something with your hands. Many young people these days don’t do anything manual with their hands unless they’re playing video games. Video games can be great in their own right, but too many kids are missing out on how building something with your own hands creates confidence and pride.
Woodworking also helps exercise your child’s creativity. You start with something boring – a block of wood – and you end up with something wonderful, all from the mind of the woodworker. It takes an enormous amount of creativity to create something out of nothing.
This exercise particularly develops your child’s ability to think in the abstract and convert it into something concrete and tangible, which also helps their mathematical skills. (So, in a way, working with wood can also help bring up their math scores!)
Working with wood develops attention to detail, as well. You have to slow down and focus on the tiniest details if you want to succeed with a project. Attention to detail and the ability to focus on the small things is a valuable and underrated skill for an adult to have, but many of us do not develop this skill until we absolutely have to – and by then we could be far behind.
Finally, woodworking is one of the best ways to develop self-esteem. Your child gets immediate feedback based on how the project looks. When it’s finished, they can see the product of their hard work and see how wonderful they were in using their hands to create something meaningful in the form of a finished sculpture.
Fostering Interest in Woodworking
The best way to help a kid cultivate an interest in woodworking is to give them the tools and education they need to do what kids do best: explore.
Your main job is to make sure they can explore safely. Carefully supervise any time your child has a cutting device with an edge. Until they’re old enough to properly use a cutting tool, keep them to sandpaper, nails, screws, wood glue, twine, and other ways to manipulate wood until they can carve responsibly.
But you want to teach them how to work wood safely but freely. Part of the appeal of woodworking is that there are no boundaries. See a piece of wood – take the piece of wood – and see where your imagination takes you. Provide them a safe way to explore in that way, and it won’t be very hard to get a child to fall in love with woodworking. It’ll happen naturally as long as they have freedom of creativity.
You can also take them to visit a friendly woodworker and see how it’s done on a professional level. This can take a child from dabbling in the craft to being more fully committed, giving them a passion that can last a lifetime.
At Wood Worx, we love it when people fall in love with woodworking. Check out our sculptures and show your children what practice and passion together can accomplish.