Junior Handyman’s Toolkit: Classroom Projects, Essentials and Checklists

Written by Lew Amicone

Most kids spend a lot of time learning things like math and reading in school. As important as these subjects are, it’s also a good idea for kids to know how to work with their hands to build and create things. Even if you don’t have a workbench at home with tools and equipment, you can still learn how to build and fix all sorts of things. Your creative skills might even help you design and build new inventions that can solve problems or make life easier.

Woodworking

If you’ve ever thought about building something with wood, now’s a great time to learn about woodworking. Start small with a simple woodworking project like a birdhouse so you can learn new skills. Once you get a little experience, you can tackle a bigger and more complicated woodworking project, such as building a bookshelf or a table. You might already have some tools and materials around the house that you’ll need to work with wood. A hammer and a few different screwdrivers will be necessary when you want to make something out of wood. You might also need a drill and a saw for a woodworking project. Make sure to work with a parent or another responsible adult, since many woodworking tools can be dangerous.

STEM

STEM is an acronym that stands for science, technology, engineering, and math. Educators have determined that everyone needs a foundation that includes these subjects, regardless of your career path. When you understand science, technology, engineering, and math, you’ll be positioned to succeed no matter what you want to do in life. At home, you can do plenty of STEM activities, often just using things you have around the house. Science experiments with kitchen ingredients like white vinegar and baking soda can be both fun and educational. Building things out of blocks can be fun, and you’ll be developing engineering skills as you build. Even math can be entertaining when you play games that require math skills.

Computer-Building

Computers are literally everywhere in today’s world. A strong understanding of computers can help you get ahead in life. Because technological advances promise to continue moving forward, understanding computer science can help you keep up with new technology. Coding is one way to dive into computer science in a big and exciting way. Play games and take lessons to learn a coding language like Java or Python. Then, you can experiment with writing your own computer programs and even creating computer games. You can even build your own computer to do your coding projects on, thanks to things like the Raspberry Pi and computer-building kits.

Encouraging Creative Kids

Fixing and making things can be surprisingly fun and satisfying. When your family keeps some basic tools and supplies around the house, you can fix toys when they break instead of just throwing them away. Sharing in household chores like cooking and cleaning makes everyone’s life easier, and you can also learn about science while you help with the work. You might also discover that you like some other types of hands-on hobbies, such as knitting or sewing. These hobbies are not only fun, but you’ll be learning lifelong skills that you can put to use.