How to Involve Kids With DIY Projects

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How to Involve Kids with DIY Projects


As a DIY family that also works full-time a phrase our kids have heard all too often since they were little is “we’re working on the house this weekend.” When we moved into our second house our boys were 3 and 1.  Needless to say we learned pretty fast that when you’re working full-time, have little kids in tow, and only have weekends in which to work on the house, remodel projects take waaaaaaaaaaaaaaay longer than planned. And now that our boys are older, and we have 3 of them, they want to be involved in everything so it has become crucial for us to find ways to involve kids with DIY projects.

Something we never want to instill in them is that working on the house has taken away from our time with them. While it does do that, we don’t want for them to build up resentment and hate DIY projects as a result. It is for this reason that we have worked hard to try to involve them into many of the projects we do. So here are our

Top 5 Ways to Involve Kids With DIY Projects:

1. Painting.

One of the easiest (and cheapest) ways to get your kids involved is with paint. It is the easiest to cover-up if there are mistakes and it is usually fun for them. Just make sure you have the ground covered appropriately.

Terrible picture but our then 3 year old had a blast "helping" paint.

Terrible picture but our then 3 year old had a blast “helping” paint.

2. Allow them to help as their ability allows: as they get older release some of the control.

Get the littles their own tools. Our boys love to use mini hammers and nails and “create” their own projects with the scrap wood we always have laying around. Our 7 year old has gone from mini hammer and nails to the ability to help with the power drill and sander, and his painting has definitely improved. Just make sure to budget in extra time so you can also teach, guide, and prepare to fix mistakes without freaking out (I’m still working on that one…)

The picture that made us realize that the boys needed their own tools...these were a bit *ahem* dangerous.

The picture that made us realize that the boys needed their own tools…these were a bit *ahem* dangerous.

3. Get dirty and have fun! 

Most kids like to get messy. The messier, the better. And fun, they love fun. Try to relax and be silly while you work.

Prepping for new sod...a huge dirt pile in which play is a little boy's dream

Prepping for new sod…a huge dirt pile in which play is a little boy’s dream

 

4. Take breaks to play.

Now this may seem counterintuitive if you’re wanting to involve kids with DIY projects, but trust me, if you want their help, or at least have some uninterrupted time without their help, then it is important to take breaks to just be with them. Like I said above, DIY projects take waaaaaaaaaaay longer when you have kids around. It’s important to take breaks. Go for a quick hike, head to the park, play a game…I always suggest 20 minutes every 80 minutes though obviously this would depend on the age of your kids.

How to Involve Kids With DIY Projects

Use “letting the paint dry” as the perfect excuse to run to the park even if just for 20 minutes.

 

5. Implement ‘Family Day’

Again, counterintuitive, right? Wrong. Family Day is just that…a day when you aren’t working on projects. At all. A day spent with family. If you don’t want them to hate working on projects then you need to spend some time away from projects.

How to Involve Kids With DIY Projects 

Obviously there are times that a project is just too big and/or too time consuming that there is no possible way for a little to be involved. Those are the weekends we send them to Grandma’s ;)

How do YOU involve your kids? 

And again, make sure you check out our $100 Target Gift Card GIVEAWAY!

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