Build a bookshelf, build a woodworker
Give a kid a bookshelf, and he can put his books away. Teach him to make one, and he’ll be building you a new bunkie before you know it. Isn’t that how the expression goes?
As a young kid at the cottage, my brother and I used to spend hours banging together lumber offcuts, making them into boats which we would float around in the water. In the intervening years, I’ve worked on many more practical projects, like re-decking the dock, building stairs, and helping re-shingle the porch roof. I’ve gained a lot of skills over the years, but am still in the class of Nail-Bender amongst my handy family members. I am keen to learn, but need more practice. I’m okay with that, though, because building has never stopped feeling like playing to me.
My DH was one of those kids who always had a project on the go at the cottage. His dad let him use real tools from a young age (as long as he used them properly and safely), which my DH credits not only for a love of making things with his hands, but for his having the patience and confidence to try something, and to take it apart and try it again if it doesn’t work the first time.
If you have kids who are keen to try their hand at building (or at power tools), bring them on over to the Kids Corner at The Great Outdoors and DIY Weekend, November 25-27. Youngsters aged 7 to 17 are invited to create a desk-top bookshelf featured in the Winter 2012 issue of our sibling magazine, Canadian Home Workshop. Under direct supervision, your child will be taken through the steps to cut and assemble this project to take home. It’s a wonderful way to get your kid excited about woodworking, and it’s free with admission!
Once you’re done there, check out the other fantastic kid-friendly activities (don’t miss the tiger, sled dogs, Santa, and the zipline)—hope to see you there, bookshelf in hand!