While we are a far cry from homesteaders, we would like to instill in our children some sense of self-reliance.  Rather than run out to the store and buy every little thing, if it’s at all possible for us to MacGyver it on our own, we like to at least try.

Our latest project was making some wooden risers for our train set.  We have a few of these blocks that came with our IKEA trains, and they seemed simple enough to make.

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This was a great project for our preschooler to work on with me.  He helped choose the wood, take the necessary measurements, glue, sand, and use tack cloth to clean up our final product.  In the process, he got experience with several new tools, including the vice, measuring tape, and sanding blocks, and we reviewed the names of three-dimensional shapes we found in our wood scraps, including cubes and several types of prisms.

And most importantly, our final product works!  We’ve doubled our stash of risers and expanded our stretch of elevated track considerably!

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What are you making today?  How have you introduced your kids to new tools and tasks such as wood working?

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