> Can anyone recommend a fun kids tool bench / kids tools?
The one you two build together. Be it out of old pallets or fresh lumber
you two go down to the store and buy together. Wrong dimensions and all.
> Ideally the tools wouldn't be easy to swallow, and would be dull enough
> that he'd have to work hard to cause destruction to himself, us, or the
Those are called good tools. And you two should go get them together. When
I'm old, grey and senile, I'll still remember the times we've spent together
at the hardware store going through tools together, teaching him what they
do, and selecting his first hammer. That little hammer will never leave.
Our first big project was building a storage cabinet that fits under my old
Shopsmith. I wanted to include him in the job. Neither my wife nor I knew
that this typical 5 year old ding-a-ling would suddenly focus intensely for
the entire weekend it took to build the unit. From how I squared a corner
to accounting for saw blade kerf width, controlling punchout of the wood as
the drill bit exited the hole to sanding the edges smooth, he was engrossed
by it all.
Did the project take longer with his help? Certainly! And never will I
forget the look on his face when I handed him the drill to place the final
mounting hole for the hanging bracket. He'd been using the power tools with
me, four hands holding the drill. But when I handed him the drill, his jaw
dropped and his spine stiffened. He could do the job, and I knew it. So
stern and serious was his expression as he carefully placed the bit against
the wood, right on the mark. Keeping it square he spun it up drove it
through, remembering to keep it spinning as he pulled it back out. The
pride on his little face...
Today he's 7, soon to be 8. He's used my drills, my circular saw, my
bandsaw and others. He knows how to check the oil in all the cars, and how
to check the antifreeze and tire pressure as well. He's rotated the tires
and even swapped summer tires onto mommies car. Last week, he got to do a
repair all by himself. Mommies car had a vacuum leak under the dashboard
from a broken t-fitting. I showed him how to find it, how to remove the
broken fitting, and how to install a new one. He did the job, not me.
Nothing is as wonderfull as him tearing off to grab his toolbox to come help
me work on something.
So go and buy him some good screwdrivers, and good wrenches. Have him work
with you on the car and around the house. Bring home a broken vacuum
cleaner from a trashcan to disassemble. Build a wooden airplane with him, a
wire car, an origami cat. Heck, my son was delighted with the yarn I
dangled from the ceiling fan switch in his room so he could change the speed
and turn the light on and off. Very high tech, but HE was involved, so HE
owned the project and the idea.
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