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How to involve kids in household projects

The Family Handyman, a website dedicated to home

The Family Handyman, a website dedicated to home improvement, offers tips on helping your kids get involved in household projects. Credit: The Family Handyman

Now that winter is in full swing, you're likely spending more time inside with the kids. Between work, chores and tending to the family, it's hard to tackle everything on your to-do list, especially when it comes to household projects. So why not get your kids involved?

The Family Handyman, a website dedicated to DIY home improvement, has a few tips on how to help your kids become comfortable with tools and DIY tasks around the house.

Get familiar with tools: Real tools teach real responsibility. You can buy reasonably priced, kid-sized tools at home improvement stores and online retailers.

Play with Bubble Wrap: To a kid who’s not quite ready to drive nails, nothing feels better than the snap, crackle and pop of Bubble Wrap. Supply your child with a small hammer or a rubber mallet. Hearing protection is also a good idea.

Screw into drywall first: Gather some screws and let the kids practice screwing them in to a scrap of drywall with a screwdriver or small cordless screwdriver.

Build a bolt board: Wrenches are great for new handymen. Sink small and large bolts into boards and let children use wrenches to attach color-coordinated nuts.

Cut up foam core: Clamp some foam core to a workbench and let kids saw it into strips. Foam core is easier to saw through than wood and a keyhole saw is perfect for small hands.

Introduce tools one or two at a time: Start a bunch of roofing nails in a tree stump and let your young DIYers go to town. The kids will keep hammering until every last nail is flush. Roofing nails are easy to hit and hard to bend.

Work at their height: You don’t like a work surface that’s too high, low or wobbly, and neither do kids. You can buy a small workbench from school supply catalogs or online retailers. You can also cut down an existing workbench or make one yourself.

Play by the safety rules: Always wear safety glasses. Tie up long hair. Wear closed-toe shoes. Clean up after each work period.

Don’t toss trash: Taking apart a broken gadget like a fan or a toaster is great for young minds and fingers. Kids get to unscrew things, learn how something is put together and have fun (cut off the cord for safety). If you don’t happen to have anything broken lying around, you can buy small appliances inexpensively at yard sales or thrift stores.


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