Completing home improvement projects with your kids can be fun and helpful to your home improvement needs. Make the time now to team up with your child for a DIY project that builds skills, confidence and memories. Pick something safe and simple that provides an age-appropriate introduction to basic tools and concepts, and strengthen their personal investment by getting them involved in the planning and shopping phases of the endeavor. Above all, remember that this is quality time rather than productive time — your priority is to enjoy the process with your child without deadlines or other time constraints.
Shop for supplies together
It’s a big day in the life of a parent—the day your child takes his or her first steps into the local home center. Help them get acquainted with the aisles of supplies. Read signage and product labels. If an in-store recommendation is needed, your courteous exchanges with store staff are great examples of problem-solving and reminders that we all need a little help from our friends.
Prepare for the project
After you’re back from the store, enlist your child’s help to prepare the project zone, teaching the skills of good preparation for a safe and satisfactory outcome. Make sure you’re both properly suited up and accessorized for the task at hand. Your child’s age and the complexity level of the project will determine what they can safely handle, but there’s always a way to get them involved, even if they keep busy with a few simple items or kid-sized tools while you work with the more complicated stuff nearby.
Here are some of the top projects for parents and children during the summer:
- Outdoor Furniture: Create something new for your family’s favorite outdoor room from scratch or with a kit, or spruce up existing pieces with a fresh coat of paint. Look for low-VOC formulations in fun colors, and give artistic children license to add embellishments such as ornamental hardware or hand-painted details.
- Sandbox: Create a new play space, and then shop for gear to enjoy in its sandy square footage.
- Tree swing: Locate a sturdy branch with plenty of clearance underneath and gather a few simple tools, rope, a seat (round, rectangular or tire) and hanging hardware to design your own version of the time-honored tree swing for your children to enjoy all summer.
- Mini golf or croquet course: Helps kids create a custom course with simple, stand-up plywood cutouts decorated to reflect a theme or spotlight children’s’ creativity.
- Tool caddy: Get your child’s home improvement education off to a great start by making a caddy that keeps gear safe and handy.
- Equipment storage: Work together to build bins, boxes and cubbies to hold the season’s outdoor gear. Personalize and organize using paint, adhesive letters and other embellishments from the hardware store.
- For the birds: After researching the habits of your local feathered friends, create a feeder or birdhouse to welcome them into your yard and create opportunities for observation.
- Get into gardening: Plan and plant a plot of veggies, or select colorful summer annuals to brighten up flowerbeds and attract hummingbirds and butterflies. You can also dig deeper into green living by building a compost bin.
With these tips and projects, your kids will not only have fun, but also be willing to help you with your next household home improvement project as well.