A Super Simple Shelf For Kids to Build

Kids love to hammer in nails! This is a super simple building project that kids can enjoy and be proud of.

Ages 4 and Up

It’s recommended for ages 4 and up with adult help and supervision.  The final shelf will be sturdy and a great place to store puzzles, books, toys, shoes, etc.!

A child standing on a wooden shelf

HERE’S WHAT YOU NEED:

  1. ONE board that is 12 inches wide, 6 feet long and 1 inch thick from Home Depot.  ($15.97 each)
6 foot by 1 foot piece of wood at Home Depot

Note:      While the store will say it’s 1 inch thick, the board actually measures ¾” thick.

                Also, while it says 12” wide.  Sometimes it measures 11” wide.

Have an employee cut the 6 foot long board into 2 pieces that are 16” long and 2 pieces that are 19” long.

16”   16” 19” 19”
The saw at Home Depot

2. A box of 1 1/2″ finishing nails ($1.95 each)

box of nails
The price ($1.95) for the box of nails

3. A light weight hammer ($4.73 each)

a hammer

HERE ARE THE STEPS:

  1. The first step is the hardest step.  Take one 12” x 19” piece and stand it up vertically.  Take one 12” by 16” piece and place it horizontally so that the edge of the board rests on top of the 1st board.  Have the child hold the top board steadily while the adult hammers in the first nails (see step #2).
two pieces of wood
two pieces of wood

2. Hammer in one nail on each corner. 

nails hammered into the wood

Once the first two nails are in, the adult can hold the top board steadily while the child hammers in the remaining nails along the edge.  The child can add 5-10 nails.

a child hammering in a nail

3. Next, measure 3 inches from the left edge of the horizontal board.

a tape measure measuring 3 inches

Place the second 12”x 19” board under the horizontal board so that it is 3“ from the left edge.

Hammer in one nail at each end of the board.   Then, have the child hammer in 5-10 more nails between the first two nails.

a child hammering in a nail

4. Turn the shelf upside down.   Rest the second 12”x16” piece on top of the two vertical pieces.

3 pieces of wood
4 pieces of wood, the top, bottom and two sides

5. Hammer one nail in each corner above the right board. 

nails hammered into the wood

6. Hammer one nail into each end of the left board.

a child hammering in a nail

7. Have the child (or children) hammer in 5-10 more nails in between each of the two end nails. 

children hammering in nails

Done!  The child can leave the shelf as it or paint it.

a finished wooden shelf
a painted wooden shelf