Out of the Woodwork: Hook Kids with Simple Kits


A project prepped for children passes on the love of woodworking.
By Joseph Ilardo
Pages: 80

From the August 2009 issue #177
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A few weeks ago my daughter told me her 7-year-old twins had discovered the joy of working wood. With their Dad, they’d cut and nailed together a variety of wood scraps of different shapes and sizes. Despite their fun, the end result looked like – well – scraps that had been nailed together. Even the children seemed disappointed with the results. Could I, she asked, make them a kit that would let them make something they could use?

I was pleased and flattered that the many shop-made gifts I’d given my grandchildren over the years had kindled an interest in woodworking. My daughter’s request also offered a rare opportunity to bridge a gap of six decades. So little of what I know is of interest to the twins, and so much of what makes up their lives is light-years away from mine. (I’m not a twin, I don’t own a Wii system and my car doesn’t even have a GPS!) I agreed immediately.

The completed project would have to be useful, as my daughter had asked. But I also wanted to come up with something that would be easy, quick and fun, as well as being impressive enough in the children’s eyes to be worth the work. After weighing a few options I decided on two identical pine bookcases. What would distinguish one from the other was the way each child decided to paint and decorate it.


From the August 2009 issue #177
Buy this issue now