The best Cub Scout crafts are based on the 12 core values of Cub Scouting. These fun craft projects teach basic woodworking skills in the group setting and also underscore some of the beliefs that are most important to Scouts and their families.
Wood Blocks for Underprivileged Children
Blocks are an educational toy that every child should have; however, some families don't have the resources to invest in this type of plaything. Working as a group, Scouts can make a set of blocks to give to a family in need. This woodcraft underlines the importance of the Cut Scout values of compassion and community involvement.
Things You'll Need
Before beginning the craft, the Den leader or another adult should cut the lumber for the blocks. Purchase an eight-foot length of four-by-four lumber and cut 24, 3.5-inch blocks. Since the actual dimension of the lumber will be 3.5 inches by 3.5 inches, the blocks should be cubes.
You'll also need the following supplies for each Scout:
- Medium, fine, and very fine grit sandpaper
- Six different shades of paint or stain in small cups
- Foam brush
What to Do
- Divide the blocks among the group of Scouts.
- Begin by rough sanding the blocks with the medium grit sandpaper. Move on to the fine and extra fine. When the kids are done sanding, there should be no rough or splintery areas on the blocks, and the corners should be slightly rounded.
- Scouts should paint or stain each side of the blocks a different color. If desired, they can add additional artwork like numbers, letters, or animal shapes.
- Allow the blocks to dry according to the instructions on the paint or stain.
- When the blocks are dry, Scouts can apply a protective coat of polyurethane to each side using a foam brush. When dry, this will protect the finish of the blocks.
Cooperative Wooden Puzzle
Cooperation is another important value in Scouting, and this fun craft project helps to teach this important tenant. This puzzle project shows how Cub Scouts can create something fantastic when they work together. After the puzzle is complete, it can be donated to a school or daycare.
Things You'll Need
You'll need the following supplies for the entire group:
- One 24-inch by 24-inch sheet of luan plywood
- Pencils in two colors
- Green paint in two shades
- Brown paint
- Blue paint
- Medium, fine, and extra-fine grit sandpaper
What to Do
- Place the sheet of luan in the center of the table and explain that the Scouts are going to work together to make a jigsaw puzzle of a tree.
- Using the pencil, the Den leader can draw a simple tree with branches on the wood surface. Don't add leaves, since the Scouts will be doing this as part of the project.
- Next, each Scout can come up and draw a cutting line using a different colored pencil. This line should cross the wood surface and will dictate where the puzzle pieces will be cut.
- When every Scout has added his line to the puzzle, the Den leader or another adult can use the jigsaw to cut the puzzle into pieces.
- Divide the pieces among the Scouts. The tree branch parts should still be visible on each piece.
- Each Scout should then sand the edges of his puzzle pieces to remove any splinters. Work from the coarsest sandpaper to the finest.
- When the pieces are smooth, it's time to paint. The branch portions should be painted brown. Then each Scout can add leaves using both shades of green paint and a bird or two with the blue paint.
- Allow the pieces to dry thoroughly. When they are dry, each Scout should sign the back of his pieces.
- Assemble the puzzle as a group and admire how no one piece is a perfect image but together they make something beautiful.
Recycled Wood Birdhouse
Another important belief in Scouting is respect. You can expand this to respect for materials and the environment when you make this simple birdhouse craft as your next activity.
Things You'll Need
Ask for donations of untreated 1/2-inch-thick scrap wood from parents and the community. It's fine if the wood was used in other projects in the past.
Before starting the project, the Den leader or another adult should cut the following pieces for each bird house:
- Two end pieces with a point at the top - Each should measure eight inches from point to bottom, five inches wide, and five inches on a side. One should have a two-inch hole drilled in the middle.
- Two side pieces - Each should measure four inches by 4.5 inches.
- One floor piece - It should measure five inches by 7.5 inches.
- Two roof pieces - One should be 5.5 inches by 4.5 inches, and the other should be 5.5 inches by five inches.
For each Scout, you'll also need the following:
- Wood glue
- Finish nails, 1.25 inches long
- Carpenter's square
What to Do
- Take the floor piece and the end piece without the hole. Line up the flat bottom of the end piece with the five-inch side of the floor piece. Place a line of wood glue in the joint and use finish nails to nail the two together. Your birdhouse now has a floor and one end.
- Place a side piece on each side. The 4.5-inch side should be joining the floor piece, and the four-inch side should be joining the end piece. Make sure the corners are square. Glue the joints and nail them together. Your birdhouse now has a floor and three sides.
- Add the remaining end piece to the front of the birdhouse. There will be a small lip for the birds to stand on. Glue and nail the end piece in place. Your birdhouse now has all four sides but no roof.
- Line up the shorter roof piece so that one end matches up with the point on top of the birdhouse. Glue and nail it in place.
- Place the other roof piece on top, overlapping the first one you placed and creating the peak. Glue and nail it in place.
- Allow the birdhouse to dry completely.
Crafts that Correspond to Values
Woodcraft projects are fun for kids in the Cub Scout age group, and they can also teach essential values that are part of the scouting organization. As you do each craft, talk about how it corresponds to these core values and why the values are so important.