To expand a little in the DIY blog theme from last week…you may even want to consider involving kids while tackling home improvement projects! If kids are old enough, they can pitch in and learn a few practical lessons during fix-up projects. Perhaps they will even learn a few new skills in the process!
When asked to help in DIY projects, young children may feel proud when they can lend a hand with such a “grown-up” task. With the right instruction, (and a fair amount of patience), children of all ages can get involved. Working together will also provide a wonderful opportunity to have some productive quality time together.
To get everyone started I’ve made a short list of tasks involved with DIY projects that kids can be involved in.
Include kids from the very start. When a project is still an idea, adults can ask kids for input in the design and planning process. Kids will come up with fun suggestions and can easily think outside-the-box. My own boys gave us suggestions for their outdoor playset, which included a ‘rocket’, drive-thru window and obstacle course. We’ll see how that goes!
Draft a list of supplies and ask the kids what supplies they think will have to go into completing the project. We asked my oldest son to compose a supplies list – this reinforces his spelling abilities as well!
Shop as a family. Although it may slow down the shopping process, take them along. They can help choose the materials for the project. The kids will see how raw materials will turn into the finished product. We point out the prices and any sales going on. Teaching the kids the value of a dollar!
Emphasize safety & proper uses of equipment. Kids should understand that tools are designed to do certain things but they are not toys. Identify and explain what tools do. Explain how some equipment can be dangerous and instruct kids not to touch or turn on tools without adult supervision. My kids love putting their safety glasses, earplugs & gloves on when they get to help out at home. It can be an educational opportunity as well as a fun lesson! This also makes great Instagram moments!
Demonstrate & then let the kids try. Some of projects will require fine motor skills that younger kids haven’t developed yet. Let older children perform the more intricate tasks, but try to let the little ones help out too. A kindergartener can hand over nails and tools, while a preteen may be able to saw wood. Let the kids mirror your actions. My boys love this part!
Attempt an easy project first. Painting a room, building a planter box, or another less complicated project can help adults gauge the child’s abilities. We also give the kids some scrap materials to let them create their own stuff. We limit the amount of nails and screws after seeing them use way too many!
By involving kids in home improvements, you can teach them new skills, develop a greater appreciation of the work that goes into maintaining a house, and instill a sense of pride. Make the DIYourself into a DITogether.