Your kid probably wants a sword.
Now, whether YOU want her to have a sword is a totally different question, but your kid? Probably wants a sword.
Scavenge your local Restore or hit up Freecycle for a very few types of pipe fittings and pipe, then let your kid use some basic woodworking skills to build herself her very own sword.
NOTE: NOT steel. Obviously. I prefer PVC, because the kids can cut the pipe themselves with a hand saw, but copper is also okay if you’ve got the tools to cut it yourself.
1. Scavenge the pipe and fittings. At the most basic, your kid will need a length of PVC pipe that she’ll cut into the sword and the grip, and a cross fitting to connect the two. Don’t feel like you have to stop there, though! If they can get them, my kids also like caps to approximate a point and a pommel, extra lengths of pipe to make a cross-guard, and elbows to make the cross-guard fancier.
2. Measure and cut. Have your kid measure and mark on the pipe where to cut it to make the blade of the sword (and let her go crazy on this–my older kid made a ridiculously long blade for her own sword, and it’s everyone’s favorite, and is surprisingly well balanced), and the grip, and the two sides of the cross-guard, which should be equal.
Have your kid cinch the pipe into the vise of your work bench (I put all my thoughts about the best work bench for kids into my kid-built stomp catapult tutorial), then cut through the PVC pipe at her marks using a hand saw. This is a really easy job that my kids could do even when they were quite a bit younger.
3. Assemble and glue. All that’s left is for your kid to assemble all the various pieces into a sword. My kids do play really rough with their swords, so I also have them glue all the pieces together using PVC glue.
Hot glue ought to work well, too.
Test the swords out and if the kids look like this–
–then those happy faces mean that they did it right!
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