Woodworking with Kids: Enhancement of a Child's Health and Mind

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What is Woodworking? 
 Woodworking is a beautiful craft that consists of making objects out of wood. A woodworker typically makes objects such as cabinets, tables, and other furniture. This craft has been around since ancient times. The differences between woodworking from ancient times to modern day are vastly extreme. If you look at older pieces, they will likely be abstract and simple. When you look at pieces today you will find that they are more complex and detailed. They incorporate more types of wood and are very imaginative and creative in their designs. Woodworking forces you to think through every little detail through the process of your creation. It is easy to understand how this craft can be extremely stimulating for children.  
 What Effects Does Woodworking have on Children? 
 Like any other art, woodworking included, it causes the brain to be very active. It is proven that art increases brain connectivity. The brain forming new connections leads to different parts of the brain communicating, which can then lead to better mental health outcomes, such as less stress. Woodworking is a very different experience to learn from. It is very particular and can require focus for a very long period of time. It has even been proven that children who take part in woodworking are using many skills that include creative thinking, math, physical development, language and vocabulary development, and many other skills. Enhancing these skills through just one activity is a great feat. This kind of mental stimulation in a child could potentially have great results when it comes to future endeavors and how they go about completing them and dealing with the results.  


 How does Woodworking Benefit a Child? 
 Not only is woodworking beneficial to the mind, but it is very beneficial to the self. As a child, it is of extreme importance that they are able to feel comfortable with themselves and the world as much as possible. Woodworking is known to build self-esteem and confidence in children. These feelings are evoked through the reasoning behind woodworking along with the craft and result. They are able to feel a higher sense of self-esteem and confidence for a number of reasons because they are: 
  • Trusted to use actual tools 
  • Given responsibilities 
  • Partaking in a task from beginning to end 
  • Given the challenge to complete on their own 
  • Learning new, complex skills 
When children are given trust and responsibility, they do not want to let anyone down, including themselves. Therefore, once they see that they can do it, they have a boost in their sense of self. It is understood that woodworking can be a complex activity, and once they see that they can complete a project from beginning to end on their own, they have a huge boost of confidence. It is amazing to know that just through woodworking, children are able to feel extremely good about themselves.  

 
 Proven Accounts of Woodworking Enhancing the Minds of Children 
 Many accounts of the benefits that woodworking has on children can be found at this link"Woodworking for Kids." There are accounts of children developing skills such as counting and problem solving and much more. The fact that these children were able to use "grown-up" tools made them feel as if they were in charge. Rather than feeling restrained, they felt a sense of free will. They were able to do whatever it was that their creative minds wanted. These feelings evoke a sense of open creativity, which is what is seen with children who participate in woodworking. Not only that, but woodworking can enhance children’s relationships with family members who share the same interest, as explained in "Fathers, Sons and Woodworking: Burying the Hatchet in the Workshop." All in all, woodworking is nothing less than one of the most beneficial activities for your child's mental health and social life. 



James Niehaus 

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