The school break is fast approaching. No doubt you’ve already started planning some fun and engaging activities to do with the kids. It’s a long summer, so you might be struggling to fill all the time you have. Why not take on a fun DIY project with your children? It’s a great way to teach them some practical skills, and it will definitely fill the gap!
You might choose to make a cool club house at the bottom of the garden. Or maybe you’re going to finally get around to building that toy box for the playroom? These are all brilliant projects that your kids will definitely want to get involved with. Beyond picking the colors and patterns, they’re likely to want to help with the assembly too. How much you let them do is down to you. Their age may make you restrict some of the activities needed.
Start with a VERY detailed plan. The more details that go into each task needed, the better equipped you’ll be to help your child complete it. Sharp tools are only dangerous when you’re not careful, equipped or knowledgeable about the dangers. Your kids will be using these things eventually. Even if you’re not letting them loose with a saw this summer, invite them to watch and clearly explain what the dangers are.
Make sure you’re all wearing your safety-gear. Websites like http://comfortworkboots.com can provide the footwear you’ll need. With little ones around, you may be at risk of more accidents, so wear all the gear you can. If you don’t have goggles or appropriate footwear and gloves for the kids, keep them out. It’s not worth the risk. If you have more than one child around while you’re operating sharp, powered, or heavy machinery, make sure another adult is there to watch them too.
Your kids will probably be interested in the whole process. You might have a design ready to go. You may even have a flat pack that you plan to use. That doesn’t mean you can’t get together and sketch some ideas. Talk about the dimensions and scale. Handy maths for school! Have a look at websites like https://www.mathworksheets4kids.com/ for more ideas. Talk about protecting the wood and the tools in bad weather. Definitely discuss the rules of behavior on your building site!
Once it is ‘designed’ you can discuss all the different parts you need. If you’re making them or cutting them yourself, ask your kids to help you identify where they need to go. Shape manipulation and sorting is another handy skill for them. Of course, rough edges can lead to the odd cut and splinter. Give them gloves, or ask them to stand back while you move the things yourself.
A project like this helps you to teach measuring, hammering, screw assembling, affixing, painting and more. You can choose how much the kids do themselves, but be prepared for very slow and patient progress. It’s about the quality time you spend together after all. Even if you can’t complete it, valuable lessons can be learned. What will you build?