Wood is a fabulous medium for for kids to explore and create with, but it’s not something that is used often.
Traditional woodwork offers lots of learning opportunities, but creating with wood doesn’t always have to involve hammers and nails. These creative woodworking ideas for kids will inspire you to think a little differently about wood and the opportunities it offers!
20 Ideas for Creating and Learning with Wood
Hammering, nailing, drilling and sawing are loads of fun and teach lots of skills. Here are some ideas for making it work with preschoolers.
We shared some ideas for what to include in a kids woodworking set.
Here are some great, simple, ideas for learning hammering skills from Irresistible Ideas for Play Based Learning.
Hammering into a big stump or even a pumpkin like they did over at The Golden Gleam is a great beginners activity.
Teacher Tom talks about managing safety issues while using hammers and other tools.
But wood doesn’t have to be nailed together, here are some ideas for making wood constructions without tools.
We used a low heat glue gun to make some amazing wood constructions.
They used regular old PVA (white school glue) to make these cool wood buildings at Meri Cherry’s art camp.
With her younger child Meri used a simple glue stick for some toddler wood work.
There are other, less permanent ways to use wood for construction too.
Try combining some wood scraps with play dough for amazing creations and constructions.
Or try these clay and wood block structures from Babble Dabble Do
Wood is a fabulous medium for making sculptures.
I love these amazing wood sculptures from The Artful Parent.
And these fabulous wooden towers from Artbar look amazing too.
Babble Dabble Do used wooden skewers and non-hardening clay / plasticine to create these awesome sculptures.
Creating with wood is fun, so is creating on wood.
We used wooden boards for water colour paintings.
Buggy and Buddy did lovely drawings on wood panels.
Wood is also a great item to use in crafty projects
I love these wooden robots from Tiny Rotten Peanuts.
And these gorgeous stacking house blocks from Mer Mag
This flexicube made from wooden blocks over at Babble Dabble Do is awesome!
These beautiful painted wooden blocks at Art bar Blog are a great project for smaller hands and would make a lovely gift.
Make a fun number game from wood rounds like this one from Laughing Kids Learn.
Let the kids make their own peg dolls like they did at Happy Whimsical Hearts
What kind of wood and where to get it.
Collecting wood for building, creating, and playing doesn’t have to be expensive. You’ll be surprised at how much wood you find when you start looking for it!
Here are a few ideas of what to look for and where to get it.
From your local craft or dollar store:
- icy pole/ Popsicle sticks
wooden letters or shapes
From the hardware store:
Look for soft, light wood such as pine, make sure it is not treated with any chemicals.
Often hardware stores will give you off cuts of wood for free if you tell them what you want it for and you ask nicely.
Thrifting and Recycling
Check out op shops (thrift stores) or garage sales for cheap sets of wooden blocks.
Ask at house building sites if they have any scraps they can give you, again avoid wood treated with chemicals.
If you know a wood turner or carpenter ask them to collect the off cuts and reject pieces.
Sticks, branches, gum nuts, acorn caps, bark etc. are all great items to add to wood projects.
If you have an open fire cut some slices from some of the fire wood.
Do your kids like creating and exploring with wood?
We’d love to see what you and your kids have been doing with wood. Leave a comment here and tell us all about it, or share an image on instagram and tag me – @katepickle
Wood Pieces For Sale
If you have an Australian mailing address and would like to buy some wood pieces for play and creating I have a limited amount of off-cuts and rejects from a wood turner, similar to those pictured above. I also have some large, unfinished, wooden beads, a small amount of finished/sealed peg dolls, and some turned wooden trees.
Email me via my contact form and I will let you know what I have available and prices.