Tools and toys for pint-sized DIYers
My First Project Tool BagWoodcraft's bag of goodies for kids eight years old and up features scaled-down adult tools, including a small hammer, tape measure, screwdrivers, and an 8-inch square. The kit comes in a canvas bag with a padded shoulder strap and four exterior Velcro pockets—a nicer carry-all than some grown-up versions. This fine starter set of tools will allow your eager apprentice to lend a hand on household repairs. About $20.
These project kits for young woodworkers are intuitive and easy to assemble—the parts are pre-cut, the holes are pre-drilled, the hardware is included, and if the paper instructions get lost, the online step-by-step instructions are excellent. The toolbox shown is part of a series that includes several birdhouses and simple carpentry projects.
Around $10 each from Woodcraft.
Meant to be a companion to the Tool Bag or any of the project kits, the accessory pack includes the ingredients an adult supervisor needs to demonstrate up to 10 projects. Assemble the pieces with the six lightweight hammers, glue and glue brushes, then finish the work with the included sandpaper and tung oil.
Retails for about $25 from Woodcraft.
The Jolly BoatAccomplished junior carpenters may be inclined to challenge themselves with a more complicated task, such as the assembly of this 1:25 scale-model reproduction of the Jolly Boat, a small vessel of the British Navy. Though the Spanish-made model includes hundreds of parts (and many spares) it's less demanding than similar versions. Supervision is recomended. Retails for $70 from GarrettWade.
A must for beginners taking on their first model ship projects, the essential tool kit includes a plank bender, needle-nose pliers, a brad pusher, a small hammer, 10 adjustable rubber-tipped clamps, and 6 pairs of tweezers. A 15-blade craft knife (not shown) is also included. The tools are scaled down to fit into small hands, but their precision and quality remain undiminished. To be used with adult supervision. Around $65 from GarrettWade.
This hole-punching hand tool has the speed of a small drill yet, under adult supervision, is safe for even young DIYers. To use its simple, ancient design, you simply hold the top steady while sliding the bushing up and down the drill's shaft, spinning the bit and boring a hole. Available in 4-1/2-inch and 7-1/2-inch lengths; each bores holes up to .06-inch in diameter. It runs around $18 for a set of two from Garrett Wade.