I wish I got into using hammers and wrenches and all that handyman stuff when I was little. It really pays off when you get older. Between home repairs, basic carpentry projects and preparing for the inevitable end of civilization, it's easily one of the most useful skills to have. As it is, I got my start later in life when I started living on my own and had to do all the crap by myself because I couldn't afford professional help. If you're the same way, it doesn't mean our kids have to suffer the same fate. Get them on that builder mode early with the Powertools PLAYMAT.
Screw LEGOs and construction toys. While all the kids in the neighborhood are building their plastic castles and battleships, your child can be making his own construction projects with this thing in tow. Granted, you'll probably still want to supervise, but this makes it a heck of a lot less scary than having him tinker with your DeWaltz and Black & Decker machines.
The Powertools PLAYMAT is a functional power tool that can be configured in four ways, performing one common tool function each. It can be used as a saw, a drill, a sander and a wood-turning lathe on both balsa or plywood (it won't quite work on tougher woods), allowing your kids to do real handyman work all on their own. Designed for easy conversion, it can go from one function to another in just a few seconds.
While the tools will really cut, drill and perform gnarly stuff on wood, it's been outfitted to ensure safe use by kids 8 years and up. It's still got sharp points and edges though, so you might want to supervise the first few go rounds just to be sure.
Thinkgeek has the Powertools Playmat available now, priced at $79.99.