If you’re a homeowner with children, you understand how frustrating it can be to work on a home improvement project and have your kids running around under your feet. But it doesn’t have to be that way. It’s never too early to start teaching your children new skills, especially home improvement skills. What you choose to involve them in of course depends on their age and maturity level, but as you help your children learn DIY home improvement, they will benefit by learning new responsibility skills and you will benefit by having an extra set of helping hands. Here are some basic safety precautions you should teach your children for home improvement as well as a few ideas for projects you can involve them in.
As you help your children learn DIY home improvement skills, it’s important that you cover some of the basic safety precautions they should practice as they go about the work. Often entire home remodels can take up to an entire year to complete. If your home is going to be a “work zone” for some time, you want to make sure your children are prepared to be safe during that time, especially if you are going to involve them in some of the projects.
Some of these safety precautions may seem like things you’ve already taught your children, but they will likely be experiencing them in a totally new setting so a reminder is good. Home improvement projects tend to involve a lot of potentially dangerous and sharp objects, such as power tools, saws, and nails. If you are going to involve your children in a project that includes any of these items, show them the items, and talk through how to safely handle them before you get going with the work. Be very clear upfront in what your child is allowed to do and now allowed to do in this setting and with these items. It’s better to be over clear than have to deal with an accident or emergency later. This may also be a good time to conduct tool repairs so you can talk over the items and all their parts with your kids as you fix them.
Depending on your child’s age and maturity level, you may choose to involve them in a project that requires them to climb a ladder or work from a height. Talk with your child about the proper way to climb a ladder and how to be as safe as possible while they are working from a height. Whether it’s just climbing a few steps on a ladder to reach taller walls during painting or joining you on the roof for roof repair, teach them how to safely move about so they won’t fall.
A big source of danger for your children when it comes to home improvement projects is electricity. This is one aspect of your projects that you should definitely not involve your children in, and unless you have specific electrical work skills yourself, should leave up to professional electricians to handle. If you are working on a project that exposes electrical wires, make sure to talk to your children about the dangers of handling these wires. You may have already taught your children to leave electrical sockets alone, this is another time to cover that. Electricity is no joke and you need to make sure your children are protected and taught the proper skills if they’re going to be in an environment with exposed wiring or other electrical hazards.
Home Improvement Projects For Young Children
It’s likely that your younger children will want to be involved in the excitement of home improvement projects. While their desire to help is notable, at a young age, a lot of home improvement projects are not a safe setting for smaller children. However, there are still quite a few projects you can involve them in that will both help them learn DIY home improvement skills and also feel like they’re “part of the team”. Here are some home improvement projects you can teach your younger children how to do.
Some of the more simplistic home improvement projects you can involve your children in are basic repairs. This could include helping you to test smoke and carbon monoxide monitors around the home, replace batteries, replace filters in vents, and more. While these projects seem minor, they’ll be a great opportunity to teach your kids how even basic repairs can do a lot to keep your home running and keep your family safe.
You could also have your child help with repairs light tightening screws on door hinges or hardware on cabinets. Especially if you’re working on a bigger project like kitchen remodeling services or a bathroom renovation, having your child help with loosening screws on the cabinet hinges and hardware will be very helpful to you and teach them about using basic tools like a screwdriver. As you help your child learn DIY home improvement through these basic tasks, it will prepare them for when they’re older and ready to work on more intense projects.
Another great DIY home improvement project to involve your child in is painting. As long as you are going to handle painting the final layer for uniformity, you can let your child paint walls, cabinets, or be involved in a variety of different painting projects. This is a great way to teach your child the importance of using the exact same color, you may even do a few swatches of similar but different colors to show how even a slight difference won’t work. A painting project will also help your child learn the importance of being neat and exact. As they paint around edges or corners, you can teach them tips, such as using painters tape or a smaller paintbrush, to be neat and tidy.
A great way to help your children learn DIY home improvement skills is to involve them in basic construction projects. This could include helping to build decorations for the home such as a bird feeder, or assembling furniture. This is a great way to teach your child how to follow instructions in order to get a great product in the end.
Another basic construction project you could involve your child in is a fencing project. If you are building your own fence, there are a few tasks your child could easily help with, such as nailing boards together or even disassembling a pre-existing fence. If you have a team coming in to perform fence installation services, having your child help with the takedown and cleanup of the pre-existing fence will teach them cleaning and preparation skills.
While it may not seem like it, cleaning can be considered a home improvement project, especially when it has a drastic impact on the look of a space. For example, power washing the siding of a house can make an older home look much newer. Cleaning isn’t something children tend to like being involved in, but when you make it fun, such as power washing or knocking down old materials, it can be more enjoyable for everyone.
Assisting With Bigger Jobs
While your younger children are likely not mature enough to help with some of the bigger home improvement jobs you’ll do, such as repairing a roof or knocking down a wall, they can definitely assist you with smaller elements of those jobs. For example, if you are working on replacing your roof, there will likely be debris and shingles falling to the ground. Have your children stand at a safe distance until you’re ready for their help. They can run around to collect the missing shingles that have fallen to the ground or any other debris that falls. This is where the safety skills you taught them earlier will come in handy. There may be nails in some of the shingles so teach them how to look out for that and how to safely hold them.
You will have to decide if your child is old enough to participate in projects like this. However, involving them in bigger jobs by giving them smaller tasks allows them to continue to learn DIY home improvement, feel involved, and still learn valuable responsibility skills.
Home Improvement Projects For Older Children
Once your children are teenagers, you’ll likely have a lot more trust in their abilities to make good choices and be safe. This also means you will be able to trust them with bigger jobs around the house and some larger-scale home improvement projects. Teaching your older children to learn DIY home improvement skills will not only benefit them but will be a huge help to you as you’ll have another set of hands to assist.
If you’ve got teenagers that you’re hoping to help learn DIY home improvement skills, involving them in large-scale construction projects is a great way to involve them. These kinds of projects are those that allow teenagers to see a big change and all that goes into getting it done. One example of a large-scale construction project you could involve your teenager in is a roof replacement project. There are a lot of steps, skills, materials, tools, and more that go into getting a roof redone. This project can be a bit more dangerous, so make sure to talk with your teenager about safety and risks before you go into it. Being involved in a project like this from start to finish will really help your teen learn DIY home improvement skills that they can use in the future.
For younger children, smaller repair projects are a great way to get them involved in home improvement projects. Once your children have grown into teens, you can start involving them in bigger home repairs. Being involved in these kinds of projects allows your teen to see an insider look at what it takes to keep a home running. If you are working with an electrician to fix wiring, they will see what goes making the light switch in their room work, something a lot of teens take for granted. If you’re doing plumbing service with pipes and sewage, they will likely learn to be more grateful for the running water in your home. As you work on these projects, they can help with tasks along the way. For example, with a plumbing project, they can help to ensure that the water is turned off before you remove pipes, assist in actually replacing pipes, help with sealing leaks, and much more.
Another great example of a home repair they could be involved in is that of fixing your HVAC, or heating and air conditioning system. There are quite a few steps that go into this, working with ducting and vents around your home, the actual furnace, insulation, etc. This is a home repair project, similar to the example of a roof repair, that will allow your teen to see it from start to finish, understand all that goes into making this work on the day-to-day, and be more grateful for the system in their home.
Helping your children learn DIY home improvement skills around the home is a great way to teach them responsibility and build on their abilities. A home improvement project in your own setting is a great opportunity for your children to learn in a comfortable environment. As their parent, it’s ultimately up to you what you choose to involve them in. Make the process fun and exciting so they want to help and learn more in the future. These memories and skills they learn will last for years to come, likely longer than the results of the actual project.