Get Your Kids Involved With Home Improvement Projects
Do you want to make your house look snappy before the holidays? Are you getting ready to build a new deck? Is it time to add on an extra bedroom to your house? Are you preparing to remodel the kitchen? Whether your home improvement project is big or small, it’s important to let your kids help you out and get their opinion on things. Working on projects together will help teach your children respect, sportsmanship, decision-making and the importance of hard work. Of course, it also offers a unique chance to bond and get to know your kids better as well. Whether your kids are small or big enough to help with hammering, there are a number of ways you can get your kids involved in home improvement projects.
First off, always ask your children’s opinion. This will not only give them a chance to give their input, but will demonstrate to them that you truly care about what they think. This doesn’t have to be a huge question like, “Do you think we should add on to the house?” You don’t need to ask your child’s permission to make a modification. What you can ask for is your child’s input on things like what color you should use, what material is better from a sample of choices, where he or she thinks you should start first, or even what kind of finish to use for the kitchen cabinets. Make it simple and fun! Take them with you to the home improvement store when shopping for supplies; they’ll enjoy simply being with you during the process.
Next, make sure you let your child actively participate in the production of the project. It doesn’t really do any good to ask for your child’s opinion and then refuse to let him or her touch anything. Remember that your project doesn’t have to be perfect; it’s okay for there to be minor mistakes. The point is for you to spend time together, getting to know one another, appreciate one another and have fun. Who is really going to notice if some of the paint isn’t evenly coated or if a few nails are lopsided? Your child will appreciate that you are letting him or her help.
Always explain the process of things. Every moment is a learning opportunity and they’ll have fun learning about building, tools, measuring and materials. Remember to have patience; young children don’t often like it when things get too serious. They want to learn, sure, but they don’t want to be lectured or scolded when something goes wrong or if they don’t understand something right away. Give it time and speak gently to them.
Finally, always discuss safety and proper handling of tools with your child. When you walk through the project step-by-step, make sure you explain what each tool is and what it’s for. Let your child know the proper name of each tool and let him or her touch each item. Talk about how you’ll use each tool, how to properly handle it and how to be careful while using it; definitely demonstrate their proper uses. For example, when you’re discussing how to properly use a hammer, make sure you show your child how to avoid hitting their finger with the hammer. This is a mistake most beginners make at some point but it is still important to discuss.
To get you started, here are some ideas on home improvement projects that are perfectly kid-friendly and are sure to be fun for the whole family:
- Painting: You can paint an entire room or simply a piece of furniture. Whatever the project is, it’s simple enough to get the children involved and mistakes are easy to fix.
- Building a playhouse: They’ll have so much fun building something that is specifically for them to play in and they’ll learn a lot about carpentry along the way. Young children are obviously not be suited for dangerous tasks such as sawing lumber, but they’ll be able to help with measuring, painting and hammering with supervision.
- Gardening: This type of house work is safe for all little hands and they’ll enjoy getting dirty in the process. If you’ve been wanting to plant an herb garden or your favorite vegetables, get the kids involved. Incorporate them in the upkeep as well such as watering and transferring the plants into larger pots as they grow. They’ll love being able to pick the plants when they’re ready and enjoy eating the fruits of their labor.
- Install solar lights: This is a very easy and quick task. The stakes simply need to be inserted into the dirt. You can install solar lights along the walkways and in the garden. Talk to them about solar power and energy-saving resources for an educational lesson.
Working on a project with your family doesn’t have to be stressful and it definitely shouldn’t be for your kids. In fact, you may find that it’s downright fun to spend time making something with your child. Whatever the project is, focus on safety and always supervise. The right project can be big or small depending on your budget and personal skill level, but will leave your child with lasting memories that he or she will cherish forever.