Young kids love to use tools. The banging, cutting, drilling – general hacking at wood with metal implements is all appealing. It’s great to spend time with kids, especially when you can teach them proper, safe techniques right from the start.
Safety is obviously the most important factor when kids use real tools. Take the opportunity to implement and stick to “shop rules” (those to obey every time entering the shop) and also tool specific safety. Something important, often overlooked, is to use properly sized tools. Kids have small hands and aren’t very strong – so it’s good to use lighter, smaller tools that fit.
Highland Woodworking has a variety of great tools sized specifically for kids. I have their kids tool kit and my kids especially like the hammer, drill and saw. The vise is extremely useful (and safe!) for holding work. And of course safety glasses and ear protection are a must!