Kids’ Carpentry turns students’ imagination into toys

Kids' Carpentry winter participants' creations.

Kids’ Carpentry winter participants’ creations.

On Saturday afternoons, kids at Magnolia Community Center aren’t playing with toys; they’re learning how to build them.

This winter, Instructor Loren Kite is teaching his Kids’ Carpentry class in Seattle Parks and Recreation  community centers for the first time. Kids’ Carpentry is a hands-on toy-building class designed to teach boys and girls ages 5-10 practical woodworking skills with an emphasis on the safe use of hand tools. The students are empowered to construct wooden toys of their own creation, building self-esteem, confidence and life skills.

“It seemed really interesting to learn how to build my own things,” student Ruby said. “I’m building a table to put my stuff on in my room because it’s really messy.”

A student named Mark said he joined the class because he wanted to be able to learn outside of school hours. “I get really bored on the weekends,” Mark said. “I thought this class would be really cool. I’ve built a wooden car and cell phone.”

The course is five sessions. Participants learn the names of different tools, how to measure wood for their projects and the safe way to use tools.

Instructor Loren Kite brought Kids’ Carpentry to the Seattle area after teaching it for two years in the Bay Area. Kite grew up woodworking with his father. He received his Bachelor in Fine Arts in Production Management from the Theatre School at DePaul University and an Associate of Applied Science degree in Carpentry from Seattle Central College’s Center for Wood Construction.

Kids’ Carpentry will be offered at Magnolia Community Center again this spring and Kite will host four different Kids’ Carpentry summer day camps at Green Lake Community, Magnolia Community Center, Queen Anne Community Center and Miller Community Center. For more information about camp registration, please see the summer day camp brochure.