Kids love to use wood to create simple projects. This artistic medium is inexpensive to purchase and fun to work with. The resulting crafts are sturdy enough to last a long time and can be given as a gift. While some children's wood projects require a good deal of dexterity and adult guidance, all of these crafts are easy enough for preschoolers to make with just a bit of grown-up help for certain steps.
Wooden Spoon Garden Markers
There are several ways for kids to turn wooden spoons into useful markers for a garden, but this one produces a marker that is cute on both sides. The materials you will need include medium-sized wooden kitchen spoons, permanent markers or glitter, paint, brushes, sponges, white glue, clear acrylic spray, scissors and a découpage medium. You will also want to cut out some small pictures from seed packets or a magazine.
To begin this project, have kids paint the entire spoon using brushes or sponges. Each spoon can be painted a different colour. Rest the wet spoons on some newspaper. Let the paint dry completely before continuing. On one side of the bowl area, use markers to write the name of the plant, or use glue to spell out the plant's name and then sprinkle glitter onto the glue letters. Let everything dry again.
Finish off the project, by gluing pictures of the plant to the other side of the bowl area. Paint the pictures with the découpage material and allow to set. When the spoon is completely dry again, spray the entire thing with several coats of acrylic. Let dry for at least one hour and then stick them in the ground next to each plant or flower.
Popsicle Stick Frames
Lots of interesting wooden crafts can be made with Popsicle sticks, but a frame is one of the easiest. For this kids activity, you'll need 8 Popsicle sticks per frame, cardboard (cut out from a cereal or pasta box), white wood glue, a picture of the child, scissors, paint, markers and any other small decorative items like glitter or beads.
Place 2 sticks in a perpendicular parallel line on the table. Then place 2 more sticks on top of them at the upper and lower edges to form a square. Use the glue to attach the top sticks to the bottom sticks at each corner. Repeat using the remaining 4 Popsicle sticks. Make certain you have made a square shape and allow it to dry completely and firmly by place it under a heavy book.
While the frame is drying, glue the child's picture onto a piece of cardboard and cut it out so that it can slide into the little pocket at the frame's top. If you have trimmed it well, the picture will stay in place securely. Use the markers, paint, glue and decorations to embellish the sides of the frame. The finished craft makes a great gift for a family member.
Balsa Wood Sailing Raft
Balsa wood is very light and easy for small fingers to handle, but the cutting part of this project will need to be handled by an adult. This wood is the main material for kids to use to construct a small sailing raft. In addition to a thin 12-inch square sheet of balsa wood, you'll need some lightweight white nylon for the sail, wood glue, a pencil, a ruler, a utility knife, a screwdriver and a 12-inch long dowel about 1/8 inch in diameter.
Use the pencil and ruler to draw the raft onto the sheet of balsa wood on both sides. With the utility knife, score the pencil lines several times on each side until it is almost cut through. At this point, you will be able to snap the raft out of the larger piece of balsa.
Cut the dowel into two pieces, one approximately 10 inches long and one approximately 5 inches long. Glue the pieces together in an L shape, leaving a 1/2-inch portion of the long stick to be inserted into the raft. While the dowel pieces are drying, cut the nylon into a triangle that will fit into them. Use glue to attach the nylon to the sail base and let everything dry completely. To attach the sail to the raft, use the screwdriver to puncture a hole in it and then insert the bottom of the sail dowel into the hole.