The projects in this series were first made by the students at the Clear Spring School, a small independent school in Northwest Arkansas. When my daughter Lucy was a student there, I developed a woodworking program called Wisdom of the Hands. It recognizes the importance of integrating the head and hands in the development of intelligence for all students. My daughter is now in college, but woodworking remains a favorite activity throughout the school. The direct, hands-on problem-solving that goes on in the woodshop helps the kids in all their other classes.

We plan to add more projects like these in the weeks ahead. But these three should get you and your kids or grandkids started.

    A Small Bench
Originally designed as a seat for preschoolers and made from oak, this bench can also be made from pine. The kids at Clear Spring School used pocket screws to attach the top, but it can be nailed or screwed in place.
Check Out the Bench

A Small Box
This straightforward box with a sliding lid holds pencils, crayons, or markers, of course. But kids can easily make it shorter, longer, wider, or taller to hold other treasures. Kids can also make the box from different hardwoods.
Check Out the Box


The T-Rex
Made from a single piece of 2x4, this figure is sturdy enough to withstand play. It has moving legs plus a movable jaw with fierce dowel teeth to provide lifelike animation.
Check Out the T-Rex