Project for a young boy

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Forum topic by richgreer posted 01-06-2014 12:15 AM 1909 views 0 times favorited 18 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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4541 posts in 4085 days

01-06-2014 12:15 AM

Does anyone have experience or ideas regarding a project for a young (7 year old) boy. I want him to feel like it is “his” project. Of course, I want it to be a safe project. I’ll supervise and do anything dangerous myself. Ideally it would be about a 2 hour project, not including any finishing work.

Any ideas?

Thanks in advance.

-- Rich, Cedar Rapids, IA - I'm a woodworker. I don't create beauty, I reveal it.

18 replies so far

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile


20269 posts in 4687 days

#1 posted 01-06-2014 12:20 AM

Kids love bird houses and rubber band guns.

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

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1459 posts in 3996 days

#2 posted 01-06-2014 12:29 AM

When I was about that age, the first project I recall making was a pencil holder. Really it was a block with several holes drilled in it. My dad did all the sawing, I did the drilling, sanding, and simple wipe on finish. Taught me some lessons I still use to this day.

-- Brian T. - Exact science is not an exact science

View Roger's profile


21051 posts in 3815 days

#3 posted 01-06-2014 12:39 AM

A car or truck of some sort

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Keep your dust collector fed. [email protected]

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2252 posts in 3457 days

#4 posted 01-06-2014 12:39 AM

Make a wall clock with him,it’s simple to make and he’ll be looking at it everyday.

-- Ken from Ontario, Canada

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Jim Finn

2872 posts in 3933 days

#5 posted 01-06-2014 12:45 AM

He will love making a rubber band gun. (I sell a lot of them) You can cut it out he can sand it and help you glue the clothes pin in place. I tell boys his age that it is not a six shooter but a sister shooter. They smile at that. (Moms not so much)

-- No PHD just a DD214 Lubbock Texas

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98 posts in 4102 days

#6 posted 01-06-2014 01:01 AM

How about a tool tote? Something like this:

-- Artificial Intelligence is no match for Natural Stupidity….

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Paul Mayer

1149 posts in 4076 days

#7 posted 01-06-2014 01:02 AM

I made a sword with my son when he was about that age and it went over quite well. You could also do a pinewood derby car. I have also enjoyed making sillouhette ornaments with them on a scroll-saw, using a profile picture of them and using spray adhesive to temporarily mount it to a piece of wood. I didn’t start my kids on a scroll saw quite that young, but it might be possible if he seems capable.

The single picket fence board birdhouse design is also perfect for kids. Make a kit for him and let him nail it all together.

At age 7 my son didn’t like much idle time in the shop so the more that things were prepped and we could keep a hammer in his hand the longer he could stick with it.

Also, +1 on the rubber band gun idea. I still remember the magic of my dad making one of these for me at roughly that same age. Great memory, and would have been even better if I would have gotten to participate in building it.

-- Paul Mayer,

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330 posts in 4123 days

#8 posted 01-06-2014 01:37 AM

Yea a birdhouse or a bird feeder…. dual purpose in that kind of project.
The skill in learning about woodworking and a lesson in care for animals.


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67 posts in 2614 days

#9 posted 01-06-2014 01:52 AM

Suggested some papers and pen draws some of the things that he wants made ​​in the near future

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Dan'um Style

14189 posts in 4994 days

#10 posted 01-06-2014 02:02 AM

sling shot, wooden sword, toy gun

-- keeping myself entertained ... Humor and fun lubricate the brain

View MrFid's profile


908 posts in 2915 days

#11 posted 01-06-2014 02:03 AM

Do you have a lathe? I would think with proper supervision that he could probably do an elementary turning of some kind (between centers, not a bowl, maybe a pen?). I guess it depends on how mature the 7 year old is. If he’s anything like me when I was 7, I wouldn’t let him near a power tool until he’s about 24.

-- Bailey F - Eastern Mass.

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20269 posts in 4687 days

#12 posted 01-06-2014 02:09 AM

A pencil and paper are dangerous items. You never know where fertile imaginations will go. But it could be the beginning of a series like my “Grandpa I need” projects ;-)

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

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3264 posts in 3686 days

#13 posted 01-06-2014 03:00 AM

I work with 1st through 5th grade boys at my church and am always looking for exactly what you describe. I want some thing that works them more hours than it works me building their kit. I have them build a lot of tool totes. They are held together with screws, made out of 1×6 pine with a wood dowel handle. I make a kit for them and the Cub Scouts. They can use the drill press to drill and counter sink the screw holes. I do the cutting. They can use the drill press to make the holes for the handle. I can make photos if you are interested. We make a birdhouse. Again, I cut the parts and drill holes through the plywood parts. They could drill them on a drill press. They can make the hole for the bird. They drive the nails. If you ware interested, PM me. If you have any new ideas I would be interested.

View Dark_Lightning's profile


4442 posts in 4120 days

#14 posted 01-06-2014 03:24 AM

Your best bet is to go to the local Boy Scout Council store (“Scout Shop”) and buy the following books, even if he isn’t going to be a Cub Scout or Boy Scout:

Wolf Cub Scout Handbook
Bear Cub Scout Handbook
WEBELOS Scout Handbook
Den Chief’s Handbook (for you), since it gives all kinds of practical information about how to handle boys that age, for boys who are only a little older (like me!)- Den Chiefs are Boy Scouts who help Cub Scout Den Leaders.

The BSA has invested an immense amount of time and money figuring out how to educate boys, and there is a vast wealth of practical things for the boy to do, outside of the woodworking aspect that is covered. You can have a lot of fun with the rest of the handbooks with your (I’m assuming) grandson. For those of you who may not like some of their backwards views, that is not relevant to the psychology of the helping part.

When I volunteered for the BSA (15 years), I used shellac for projects, since the vehicle evaporates in minutes, and the boys could take them home the same night. Lacquer melts the foam brushes that I selected for the finishing. I just wanted to get the parts finished with a minimum of fuss.

-- Steven.......Random Orbital Nailer

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Mark Shymanski

5623 posts in 4723 days

#15 posted 01-06-2014 04:03 AM

Paul and I have made small boats, birdhouses and he has helped with many of ‘my’ projects. I think he enjoys the working on grownup projects the most with the wooden boats a close second. Paul can saw a straight line with my pull saw, is good at planing, hammering and is getting the hang of screws (they are more boring than hammering :-). I think the biggest thing is that it is a ‘real’ project something that isn’t obviously just busy work. I like the above idea of using the Boy Scout materials. Oh ya Paul is 8 now but we’ve been working in the shop for a couple of years now.

-- "Checking for square? What madness is this! The cabinet is square because I will it to be so!" Jeremy Greiner LJ Topic#20953 2011 Feb 2

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