5 Home Improvement Projects You Can Do with the Kids
If you’re a dad with a long honey-do list, you might be worried that getting the kids involved in home improvement projects might put them at risk. After all, many home improvement projects involve caustic chemicals, power tools and flying bits of debris.
But while you shouldn’t let your four-year-old get acquainted with the circular saw, age-appropriate tasks and parental supervision can allow your kids to make a real contribution to your home improvement project. Home improvement tasks teach kids skills, confidence and independence. You’ll get a chance to bond with your kids, and they’ll form cherished memories of helping dad work around the house. Demolition projects, painting, simple building projects and landscaping or gardening tasks can all be appropriate for kids.
1) Tearing up Carpet or Wallpaper
Kids love tearing things up, and tasks like tearing up carpet or removing wallpaper are simple enough for kids to lend a hand. While very young kids might struggle with the tasks involved in tearing up carpet, kids age seven or older can help with these simple and common remodeling tasks.
Pulling up carpet gives you a chance to teach kids about the importance of safety gear like gloves and goggles. An older kid who is strong enough can help you pull up the carpet, roll it up and take it out for disposal. Show your son or daughter how to use a pry bar and rubber mallet to remove the tack strip, and how to use pliers to pull out the staples holding the padding in place.
Wallpaper removal tends to be a tedious and time-consuming job, and kids might get bored with it, but you can try to make it into a game or contest to keep kids engaged. Even if they don’t get much done, any wallpaper they remove is wallpaper you don’t have to remove yourself.
Your kids have been practicing painting since they were old enough to dip their fingers in a pot of tempura paint, and now is the time to show them how to apply that expertise in the real world. Older kids with more precise motor control can help apply tape around trim and ceilings. Kids of almost any age can use brushes and rollers to apply paint to the walls. Show them how to move furnishings and use drop cloths as well as how to put paint on a surface without causing it to drip or run.
3) Landscaping or Gardening
Even the youngest kids will have a blast helping with landscaping and gardening chores because the outdoors is full of age-appropriate tasks for every kid. Older kids can take over mowing the lawn (that is the reason you had them, right?), while the youngest children can help you spread mulch, gather leaves and grass clippings or dig holes for new plantings. Teach kids the basics of gardening and lawn care, such as how often to mow, fertilize and aerate — or how to prepare garden beds and plant vegetable seeds and seedlings.
While you’re out there, have the kids help you with basic outdoor maintenance chores like HVAC maintenance, painting wooden window frames or power-washing decks and patios. That way, you can spend time with the kids, teach them how to take care of their future homes and cut down on panicked emergency service calls to your local Riverside HVAC contractors.
4) Building a Sandbox or Tree Swing
Simple building projects offer a chance to teach kids the basics of planning and executing a more complex home improvement project. Even if your kids aren’t old enough to use power tools, you can still show them how to design a project, measure and cut lumber and gauge the amount of structural support something like, say, a tree swing needs.
Sandboxes, tree swings, outdoor playhouses, mini golf courses, bird feeders or bird houses are all good first building projects with kids because doing something for themselves will keep kids engaged. Talk to your kids about how to choose a good, sturdy branch for your tree swing or how they can add sun protection and keep cats out of a sandbox with a shade and cover. Even younger kids who aren’t ready to lay their hands on tools yet can get involved in planning, and you can show them how to turn their ideas into reality.
5) Building and Organizing Household Storage
Once your kids have succeeded at building something fun, you can get them involved in building something the whole family will use. Get your kids involved in discussing the family’s storage needs; it will make them feel like more valued members of the household. When it comes to actually building the storage, you have a range of options, from buying lumber and building your own custom storage area from scratch, to purchasing a ready-to-build storage solution, to installing shelves and using storage crates in an existing space.
Getting kids involved in home improvement projects helps the projects go faster and teaches your kids valuable skills that they’ll use someday in their own homes. Bond with your kids and prepare them to become adults by making DIY home improvement projects a family affair.