A group of us dads enjoy the Home Depot Kids Workshops (which are awesome BTW). I also know some of the dads in this group have even gone as far as getting their kids their own tools. Here are some tips and pointers for those of you who are looking into doing the same.
For kids (and even adults), Harbor Freight is the way to go. They are always running tool sales and they are usually solid tools, especially for hobbies or crafts.
WHAT TOOLS TO BUY
Here’s what I recommend getting based on what I got my girls in their toolboxes.
For Home Depot Events
- Claw Hammer (Full length – 8oz)
- Wood Glue
- Magnetic tray for nails/screws
- Bobby pin (perfect for little fingers holding nails while trying to hammer)
For Around the House Projects (in addition to above)
- Safety glasses or goggles
- Measuring tape
- Swanson speed square
- Carpenters Pencil
- Adjustable Wrench
These are all mostly safe items that I have no problem with my girls keeping in a toolbox in their room. I’ll leave things like saws and utility knives to staying in my workshop.
LESSONS FOR MY GIRLS
I write their names on each of their tools and I make it known it is a big deal to have their own tools. For that reason, they know there are rules.
1) Always use the right tool for the job. If they don’t know what tool to use, they should always ask an adult first.
2) Your tools are not toys. Only pull out your toolbox if you intend on building or fixing something and after asking my wife or I for permission.
3) Do not leave your tools laying around. As soon as you use a tool, it goes right back into the box. Once you are done with the box, it has a home in their closet and does not get left around. If I find tools or their boxes laying around, they will be taken away until they are more responsible.
4) If a tool gets dirty, take the time to clean it up. It is important to put your tools back in the toolbox in the same condition you found it.
5) With most tools, if you treat it with care, you will likely never need to replace it. I’ve shown them tools that I still have that were given to me as a child. I told them I want them to be able to show their kids their tools someday.
What did I miss?
I’m sure there are other lessons for them to learn and tools for me to get them, but we are just starting out. Do any of you have any must have tools for children in their toolboxes? Or how about some rules for tools?