This is a great project for getting kids involved in woodworking. Going to the home center and picking out the wood is just as fun as making the project. Be sure to involve the kids in this initial step as well. Teach them look for defects and how to sight down a board to see if it is warped or twisted. It's easy to find examples of warped and twisted wood at the home center. Make sure you pick out good boards to avoid frustration during assembly.
You can easily make these shelves while teaching a kid how to use a hand saw or jigsaw. Or, you can do like I did and cut all of the pieces for them, then let them glue them together and paint them. Each child is different, so use common sense and good judgement to determine when they are ready to use dangerous tools. There are many other ways for kids to help in the shop.
I encourage you to involve kids in the design process as well, but if you would like to use our design, click here to download the free plan. We were able to make four shelves using one 1x10 and two 1x3's. Make sure you attach them securely to the wall by screwing into studs or wall anchors.
When working with kids in the shop, the most important thing is to have fun. You want them to have a good time. Tell jokes, talk about family history, talk about the future, listen to them, and laugh a lot. I know you will end up with a lot more than just a cool project out of the experience!