Children learn really quickly that a knife is not a toy in the real sense of the word and thus learn to be careful when using knives. If children are familiar with the safe use of a whittling knife, then wood carving can be a really enriching hobby with many positive aspects.
• Children learn how to handle sharp tools safely and respectfully.
• Wood carving strengthens hand-eye coordination, concentration and fine motor skills.
• Children learn to value nature and its products, in this case mostly wood.
• Wood carving stimulates the children’s imagination and promotes their creativity.
• They develop their sense of responsibility.
When carving wood, children can often be quiet as a mouse for hours on end, concentrating on their whittling project and tuning everything else out. It is a hobby that requires calm and concentration. Focus is also essential for many other outdoor activities to ensure that you do not put yourself or others at risk. As children can learn really quickly that a knife is not a toy, they will also quickly learn how to use other tools responsibly.
Wood carving also creates a wonderful connection with nature. Children learn about the composition of different types of wood: What grain does the wood have? Is it easy to work with? How does it dry? A trip to the woods to get fresh carving material then becomes a great adventure. And campfire bread baked on a self-carved stick just tastes twice as good.