Galactic Hot Dogs

Essential Woodworking Tools

Crafty Clues

When you buy power tools, consider buying one of the newer systems that works off an interchangeable rechargeable power pack. That way there's no cord to trip over and the tools are completely portable.

Safety Signals

Teach your child to be careful when carrying tools. She should always hold the sharp edges or points downward and away from her body. When handing a tool to another person, hand it to him handle first.

If you have any intention of working with wood on a regular basis, you'll need some tools. Many of these tools can be found in any basic home repair tool kit, so they're not something you have to buy especially for this craft:

  • Yardstick

  • Metal tape measure (the retractable kind is nice)

  • Metal ruler

  • Level

  • Sharp pencil

  • Pliers (slip-joint pliers are probably best to start with, other types can be added as needed)

  • Pencil compass

  • Crosscut saw-add other types (keyhole, coping, miter) as needed

  • Awl

  • Saw guide

  • Sawhorses

  • Safety glasses

  • Hammer-start with a curved claw hammer and add other types as needed, such as ballpeen and tack hammers

  • Nail set for recessing nails into wood

  • Nails

  • Screws

  • Screwdrivers (both Phillips and regular)

  • Rotary hand drill (this looks like an egg beater; it eliminates the need for a power drill and bits)

  • Bar of soap

  • Wood glue

  • Vise (this jaw-like device is mounted to a surface and used to hold an object firmly while working on it. It's a good idea to use a vise when working with children who are cutting, sawing, or drilling; it helps with painting, too)

  • Sandpaper (in various grades, from fine to rough)

Some power tools you may want to have that you'll use yourself (or supervise an older child with) are:

  • Power drill for drilling holes. Some can also be used to drive screws into wood or remove them

  • Circular saw for cutting wood

  • Power sander for finishing wood and preparing for paint or stain

Don't even consider buying low-quality tools for your child if you're in any way serious about creating an interest in woodworking or carpentry.

Instead, buy high-quality tools you can adapt to a child's use. For instance, screwdrivers come in various handle lengths. Buy some with shorter handles so your child can hold them easily. Let your child use a tack hammer for driving small nails. (You may have to drive larger nails with a full-sized hammer until your younger child is able to handle a full-sized claw hammer.) Don't assume children can't use a tool until you show them how and give them a chance to practice. You may be surprised!

More on: Crafts for Kids


Excerpted from The Complete Idiot's Guide to Crafts with Kids © 1998 by Georgene Lockwood. All rights reserved including the right of reproduction in whole or in part in any form. Used by arrangement with Alpha Books, a member of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.

To order this book visit the Idiot's Guide web site or call 1-800-253-6476.

st. patrick’s day

Celebrate the
luck of the Irish
with recipes
and activities.



10 Best Creative Apps for Kids
Looking for apps that foster creativity? Check out these top-rated art and music apps for kids.

Kindergarten Readiness App Wins Gold
Our Kindergarten Readiness app won the Gold Award of Excellence in the educational category at the 2014 Communicator Awards. This valuable checklist comes with games and activities to help your child practice the essential skills she needs for kindergarten. Download the Kindergarten Readiness app today!

A New Intergalactic Reading Adventure!
Get your reluctant reader hooked on an irresistible new story, Galactic Hot Dogs! Join the Book 1 reading marathon, and get behind-the-scenes tidbits on the official Galactic Hot Dogs blog. Also, print this cool Galactic Hot Dogs reading log to keep your bookworm excited about reading!

Find Today's Newest & Best Children's Books!
Looking for newly released books for your child? Try our new Book Finder tool to search for new books by age, type, and theme, and create reading lists for kids!

stay connected

Sign up for our free email newsletters and receive the latest advice and information on all things parenting.

Enter your email address to sign up or manage your account.

Facebook icon Twitter icon Follow Us on Pinterest

editor’s picks