workThere are few things that cause a greater divide between parents and children than home improvement. Home improvement is dangerous, messy, and often the source of intense frustration, so whataya get when you add kids into your home improvement mix? A surprisingly sweeter home sweet home.Your house is so much more than where you lay your head; it's a sacred place where cherished memories are made. So why not make even more precious memories working with your kids to help reach your home's full potential.
Long before making that first trip to the hardware store, you developed a vision for the space in which you'll be working. This earliest stage of the home improvement process is the perhaps the best time to involve your kids. Gather the entire family into the space you'll be transforming and begin to toss around ideas. Never underestimate the power of a child's imagination - they're natural creatives filled with amazing ideas!
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What it teaches: Involving your kids in the beginning stages of a project reinforces the value of personal vision and collaborative efforts.
Once you've developed a conceptual direction for your project, you'll want to create a design to bring your collective ideas to life. Round up your family again for a more detail-oriented creative pow-wow as you sort through books, magazines, and websites to develop a DIY plan of action. Discuss every element of design, including colors, shapes and textures.
What it teaches: Aside from the essentials of home design, your kids will discover the importance of shared ideas, the fundamentals of basic research, and the benefit of careful planning.
3. Prep work
Sometimes preparing for a project takes longer than the work itself, but when you enlist the help of your small army, preparation can be a breeze! Create a list of tools and materials you'll need, along with specific tasks assigned tasks to individual family members. Entrust older kids with more complex tasks and leave the simpler jobs for younger children.
What it teaches: By involving your children in the preparation of the effort at hand, they learn the importance of planning and patience in creating a job well done.
4. Project tasks
I'd love to tell you that multiple small hands involved in your building/installation/repair project make the job go faster, but rest assured - it won't. The good news is that it doesn't take much to make your children feel involved in your DIY projects. Assisting your child with hammering a nail, positioning a level, and holding a tape measure is exciting stuff for kids! It's likely your children will tire of your project long before its completion so allow an open door policy when it comes to their desire to lend a helping hand,
Note: Carefully supervise your children at all times while using hand tools and provide them with necessary protective gear. Failure to do so can result in serious injury.
What it teaches: Building with Mom and Dad is a wonderful way to introduce children to proper safe handling of hand tools. Additionally, working together on a project instills a sense of pride in the finished product.
5. Clean up
After a long day of pouring sweat equity into your home, the last thing anyone feels like doing is cleaning up. Bring in your team of little helpers to help rinse paint brushes, collect tools to return to the garage, and gather up waste. With smaller chores under control, you'll be able to focus on larger cleanup tasks.
What it teaches: Cleaning up is a necessary part of any job done right. As your children clean up and begins to notice the beauty of the project outcome, they can take part in knowing they helped create a lasting and beautiful impression on your home.
-By Lori Garcia
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