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A few toy tops Tops are the project I choose for the first day of woodshop class for the younger set. The center top was made from a branch.
Miniature furniture Kids love to make thing from branches. The branches need to be dried first, however.
Campstool Like the stepstool, this campstool is furniture kids will use. But how to use it comes as a funny surprise to them: their own legs form the final two supports!

This project teaches the anti-splitting property of plywood, and the strength of glued joints (securing the leg, and the top to the plywood).

Stepstool diagram from book Although kids like the camping stool projects, some want a more stable platform so they could help in the kitchen or workshop or just have a kid-sized place to sit.
Ben on stilts
My son Ben on stilts we made together.
Jason's marble roll
Kid-built marble roll.
For instructions on building a larger, re-configurable set, see DIY Projects, Marble Roll.
Allison sawing
Alison sawing.
A small wooden box
A small box.
Making a box The box is a bit more complicated because the pieces have to actually fit together and the corner cuts need to be straight. But the reward measures up: Keeping little treasures in a box you've made yourself is double the magic!
Making a Glockenspiel
Glockenspiel (need text)
Rope-making machine diagram from book I first saw a picture of the rope machine in a book of projects for kids. At the time I passed it over and handed the book on to my wife, who also worked with children. She purchased a rope machine at a weaving store and found that kids loved it. They were intrigued with choosing the yarn colors and then watching them blend as the rope twisted itself together. With two kids working on it, the finished rope could be cut in half, giving each child a piece to take home. After my wife's success, I began using the rope machine in my shop class. It was so popular, we wore it out and I decided to make one from the directions in the book.

The instructions were marginal and the machine never worked smoothly, so I set out to "do it right," purchasing hardwood, bronze bearings, shafts, and hooks. This time the resulting machine not only didn't work, but was so heavy only a bionic child could lift it. About this time, my brother dropped by and reminisced, "Dad made a rope machine for me when I was a kid. He used coat hangers." This made sense. While coat hangers are strong, they are also flexible in just the right place. The instructions in Woodshop for Kids detail how to build this rope machine patterned after the 1950's model built by my father for his son, in the spirit of the times, from materials around the house.

Jack's workshop This is where I do woodshop with kids. Nothing fancy, just a work surface, a few shelves, a few tools. For one or two kids, almost nothing. But the memories made here last a lifetime.
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