It’s important to instil a work ethic in your children early in their lives, but it is equally important to teach them how to enjoy working and gaining new skills, and it all starts at home. Kids will always remember the first set of tools they lay their hands on, the first thing they make. But with all the tools out there, where should you start?
1. Cordless screwdriver
Drill/drivers are an indispensable part of any tool kit needed for most projects, from electronics repair to building a simple garden shed. Most cordless screwdrivers are small enough to suit a child’s grip for times when a manual screwdriver will be too difficult to use.
2. Socket and spanner set
Bicycles were my first solo project, a door to discovery about how things work. Disassembling my bike with a spanner provided a glimpse of the mechanisms behind gears and brakes (as well as how sticky a bicycle chain can really get!). Having a socket and spanner set allows kids to maintain or take apart larger household items.
3. Bench vice
The vice is an unheralded workshop tool, but one that is invaluable when needed. For small woodworking projects a vice is absolutely necessary to hold pieces of wood in place as you cut or drill into them. Larger vice are too heavy duty and require bolting onto a table, but a clamp-on vice is the perfect size for most home and beginning woodworking projects.
Going hand-in-hand with the vice, a good saw is a requirement for woodworking projects. A junior hacksaw or tenon saw is perfect for small hands. For larger children (or yourself), a Japanese ryoba is pricier but will whistle through timber like a breeze.
5. Ruler, pencil and combination square
Measure twice, cut once. Learning the importance of this rule is perhaps the most important lesson to be gained.