If you enjoy using your hands to build things, you know the satisfaction you feel when successfully completing a project. There’s a real sense of pride that comes from looking at a picture frame that you made hanging on the wall or setting your coffee mug down on an intricate coaster you shaped and sanded to perfection.
Feeling pride in something you made is an amazing feeling and one that you definitely want kids to experience. Imagine how happy they’ll be watching birds move into a birdhouse they build or spinning a top that they made with just a little bit of help.
There are a lot of benefits to kids using their hands to put something together physically. Building projects are an interactive way for kids to learn about math, physics, and applying their creativity. Plus, each of these projects is something you can do together.
Believe it or not, there are a ton of great projects that you and your kids can do together that introduce simple tools like hammers and hand saws as well as power tools like miter saws and drills. If your kids are too young for a hammer, don’t worry. We included some simple projects, too, so there really is something for everyone.
Cindy over at Skip to My Lou has instructions for an awesome treehouse project that you and your kids are going to love. This one’s a little complicated and is something you’ll definitely need to work on together, but the results are worth it.
Here’s the best part. When you’re done, hang the finished project right outside your window or next to your back porch so you and your little ones can enjoy watching the birds move in. It’s a fun project and a great way to interact with nature.
This is another project that requires some help from an adult but, once it’s finished, this project keeps kids entertained for hours. Check out Frugal Fun 4 Boys they will walk you through what you need and how to build it!
Simple Wooden Picture Frame
If you’re looking for an easy introduction to woodworking, this project from It’s Always Autumn is perfect. She uses a miter saw, but you could just as easily go old school with a miter box and hand saw. Something we really love about this project is its versatility. You can stick with something simple or use different types of tools to create borders and other designs.
This is a great craft your kids and you can also give away as a gift. Your older child can make the frame while a younger sibling creates a piece of artwork to put in it, a present that any parent or grandparent would love.
This project from Homemade Modern is excellent for kids of all ages with help from an adult. This simple design is ideal for small spaces where you don’t have room for a true garden but still want to entertain your green thumb and teach your kids about gardening.
A lot of power tools are required for this project. If your child is a little older and interested in learning, it’s a great way to introduce a power drill, hole saw, and circular saw. If your kids are younger, you can precut all the pieces and ask them to help sand and assemble them.
Wooden Crayon Holder and Lap Desk
We love this project from Jamie Costiglio for a lot of reasons but especially because it’s something your kids can use for a long time to come. It’s practical, portable, and pretty simple to make, what more can you ask for?
This simple design includes storage for crayons, colored pencils, or thin markers as well as a pad-holder that also serves as a hard surface to write on. It’s a fun project to make and comes in really useful, especially on long car trips.
This project from Instructables is a little more involved and requires multiple power tools, including a table saw and a scroll saw as well as significant adult supervision. If you’re a woodworker yourself and have a pre-teen or teen that’s interested in learning, this is a great beginner project.
Because you can decorate the finished product however you want, this makes a great gift. Plus, there’s candy and who doesn’t love a gift that comes with candy? Fill it with jellybeans, M&Ms, or any other small candy that the recipient loves.
This is one project that you’ll be happy to put in your living room. This simple design from Nur Nock is a great way to upcycle old wood and glass bottles, and it really makes a gorgeous decoration.
As with a lot of these projects, there’s tons of room for personalization. Add bright paint for a pop of color or embellish the bottles with beads, paint, or glitter. There’s a lot of wiggle room in this project so your child can really make it their own.
Simple Wooden Chair
It’s always nice when your child can sit back and take pride in the thing that they made but what if they could actually sit on it? Believe it or not, this chair design is so simple; it makes a great building project to do with kids.
Here’s the best part. As far as materials go, you only need one board. Although this project is simple, accurate measurements are essential so it’s a great way to teach your kids how important it really is to measure twice and cut once.
Rolling Comeback Can
A rolling comeback can is a simple project that you can make with kids as young as three. It’s really fun and a great way to teach simple concepts like motion, transferring energy, and pendulums. In other words, your kids learn about physics without realizing that’s what they’re doing.
One of the best things about this one is it’s easy and inexpensive to make. Plus, the look on your child’s face the first time it reverses direction and comes back to them is priceless.
Coffee Cup Holder
This simple design from A Beautiful Mess is perfect for older kids who are learning to use simple power tools, but you can easily pre-cut all the pieces and let your little ones help with the assembly and decorating.
If you’re looking for a project that makes a great gift, this is one to check out. You can stain or paint the finished project to match any decor or even use more advanced power tools to carve the recipient’s name into the side.
Wooden Texture Stamps
Technically, this isn’t a building project but if you’re looking for a great way to introduce your child to simple tools and supplies like a hammer, nails, and sandpaper, you can teach them how these tools affect the wood. Learning these simple things in a fun way gives them a good foundation for future projects.
That’s not all; when you’re done, you can use these stamps to make a variety of artwork and can even use them to embellish future projects. They look pretty cool as a decoration, too, so you can store them in a bowl or jar on your shelf when not in use. Check out Mothered Natured post for a step by step guide.
Popsicle Stick and Wax Paper Lantern
There are few craft supplies more synonymous with kids than popsicle sticks, and this lantern project by crafty house is a great way to use them. The end result is quite beautiful, and they’re really simple to make.
This is an excellent project because your child is not only building the framework of the lantern; they’re decorating it, too. It’s an ideal project to stimulate their creative juices and really put their fine motor skills to work. These lanterns are a great addition to any pillow fort, tree house, or backyard. Just be sure to use a flameless candle.
Fairy Garden Ladder
Whether you already have a fairy garden in your yard or you’re just starting to put one together, this ladder by How to Run a Home Daycare is a great project that makes your kids feel extra special. With a few simple pieces and tools, even young children can get involved with this project.
One of the great things about it is that once the ladder is placed in the fairy garden, the magic is just beginning. Your little ones will be happy knowing they added to your fairy’s home.
Simple Wooden Tops
These simple wooden tops from Kleas are a great project for even the tiniest hands. The best thing about it is the materials are all ready to go from the craft store. Because the dowels fit right into the wheels, you don’t even need any glue! Just some light sanding and you’re ready to go.
One thing that’s really great about these toys is your kids can choose to paint them however they want. Even though they’re all the same, everyone’s final product looks very different. These toys also make great gifts and stocking stuffers for friends and family.
Knock Hockey Table
For kids old enough to help you use power tools, this is a great project that they’ll get a lot of use out of. Check out Popular Mechanics to learn how to build this master piece. You can even use a waterproof sealant if you’re planning to use it outside.
A knock hockey table is much easier to make than an air hockey table and it is really simple to use. Plus, the mini hockey sticks make it even more fun.
Simple Wooden Boxes
Once your older kids are comfortable with power tools, these wooden boxes are a wonderful project to try. They’re pretty easy to make and can be painted and customized any way you want. Plus, they make a great gift. Who wouldn’t love a handmade wooden box from their nephew, daughter, or grandchild?
Another great thing about this project is you can customize it to change the size for your needs. This is a great way for kids to organize their collections and the perfect place to keep those special objects that they hold dear.
Mason Bee House
This simple project from Felt Magnet is almost effortless and a good way to teach kids how to use a drill. They’ll get lots of practice, too, because there’s a lot of drilling involved in this project.
One of the cool things about this one is they’ll actually get to see it in use. Once you’re done, hang it up where you’ll be able to see mason bees taking up residence. Something to keep in mind: don’t use cedar or redwood. They’re natural insect repellants and will drive the bees away.
Simple Wooden T-Rex
Not only will your school-aged kids enjoy making this project, but they’ll also love playing with it when they’re done. What kid doesn’t love a T-Rex? Fine Woodworking has everything you need to know about making this simple project.
One entertaining thing about this one is that each child can paint and personalize their dinosaur when they’re done. Not only are they encouraged to use their creativity, but they’ll also easily be able to tell their toys apart from their sibling’s or classmates’.
Building projects are a great way to spend time with your kids while learning and being creative together. Although some of them may seem a bit too advanced, each one can easily be broken down into simple steps for younger kids.
One of the things we love about these projects is they can all be put to use when you’re finished. Some of them make really awesome gifts, too.
Remember, you don’t have to tackle all of these projects. Choose the one that suits your child’s skills and interests and move on to more complicated projects when you’re both ready.