The family that plays together may stay together, but the family that does home improvement together not only stays together, but makes their house look a lot nicer as well. It’s never too early to start teaching your kids the basics of DIY, and if you’re creative enough about it fixing up your home can keep even the most rambunctious children entertained for hours – and they won’t even suspect that they’re learning something! Here are three great projects to get you started
1) Build a bird house. Building a bird house is an excellent way for parents to introduce their kids to the world of home improvement. Bird houses are cheap, simple and help kids develop many of the skills they’ll need for more advanced work later on, such as hammering nails and measuring and sawing plywood.
The best way to build a bird house is to start from scratch. Look up some plans online, buy the materials from your local home improvement store and then construct it from the ground up. However, if you’re pressed for time or you don’t have many tools in your garage, you may want to consider buying a pre-made kit instead. With these kits, you don’t need to worry about measuring and sawing because the pieces are all prefabricated. All you need to do is nail everything together and you’re done.
2) Install a shelf. The next time you want to install a shelf in your home, why not get your kids to help? As long as you have the right tools, this project is pretty hard to screw up – which makes it perfect for anyone developing their DIY prowess.
First, teach your kids to find a suitable place to mount the shelf by showing them how to use a stud finder. Once you’ve got your location picked out, attach your first mounting bracket. Then place a bubble level on your shelf and get your kids to help you balance out the plane. After the shelf is level, simply attach the other row of brackets and voila! You’re all done!
3) Fix a toilet. Yes, running or clogged toilets are gross. However, it’s important that your kids know how to repair commonly broken toilet parts, or else they’ll be making a lot of calls to the plumber when they move out of the house.
Luckily, fixing a broken toilet is easy. If the bowl won’t stop running, your problem is most likely with the floater or piston in the cistern. Show your kids how to take off the cistern lid and check out the machinery. If the floater isn’t rising or the piston isn’t sealing off the water flow, show them how to make the simple repair.
You should teach your kids how to plunge a stopped toilet as well. This isn’t exactly pleasant, but it’s the easiest way to remedy a clog. It might also be a good idea to show them how to shut off the water supply under the bowl. That way, if a toilet is ever overflowing when you’re not home, they can at least contain the damage until grownup is around to make repairs.
As parents, it’s our job to teach our children the skills they need to grow up to be self-sufficient adults. Introducing them to the basics of home improvement while they’re young is a great way to prepare them for the challenges of domestic living that they’ll face later on in life. So the next time you want to bond with your kids, grab a hammer and some nails and show them how to build or repair something. They’ll have a lot of fun now, and they’ll thank you for it later.
About the Author:
Lucy Clark is a mother of two and an avid DIYer. She enjoys refurbishing old furniture, fiddling with her smart phone and blogging about the joys of air conditioner repair and other such things over at DIY Mother.