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How To Teach Your Kids DIY And Make It A Fun Activity

Updated on January 28, 2015

Early Learning

With Winter upon us, children have to adapt to indoor entertainment. After reading books, watching TV or playing the Xbox, children become bored very easily.

So what to do? If your child is tiny then they can be amused with coloring books, toys or just a cuddle by the fireside. But if your child is old enough to want something more stimulating to do, then why not introduce them to DIY?

Obviously I don’t expect a five year old to get up a ladder and fix a leaking roof! Or maybe even clamber under the sink to empty a blocked drain! Oh no! I mean simple things that will put him or her in good stead for when they grow up. All children watch their parents doing things around the house, so why not get them involved?

If you think about it for just a moment, how many small jobs never get done because you are either to busy looking after the children or you have so many things to do, they get forgotten? By combining the DIY with your children, you will make learning fun and give them a skill that they can take with them into adult life.

The first thing that you should do before you start, is to go out and buy a couple of pairs of overalls for you and your child, or if you would rather not spend money, pick out old clothes that you can use again and again for your DIY.

Collect lots of newspapers, magazines and old blankets to put on your floor, and to cover the furniture. We don't want any mishaps!

Helping Mommy Stir The Paint
Helping Mommy Stir The Paint | Source

Painting The Bedroom

Children love to paint, so a good way to start is to make it a fun day out going to buy the paint. Ask your child what his or her favorite color is, anything goes as long as its not black or grey! That would be too dismal. Most children like yellow, red, orange, and blue. All the bright colors that catch their attention.

Once they have picked out their favorite, making sure that the colors are not to garish or don't match, then head for the paint brushes.

By the time you get home your child will be raring to go.

When you start painting, make sure the child is in a well ventilated spot. Some people do not take to the smell of paint, and we don't want any bad tummy's or sickness caused by the smell or chemicals in the paint. Try to make it a water based paint, this usually dries well and leaves little or no after smell.

Give them a corner of the room to start with, and make it fun with plenty of dancing and singing along to their favorite tunes. If you get a few splashes here and there, well, who cares? A good point is to guide the child without them realising that they are actually being taught. Make it fun, but at the same time, show them how you do the brush strokes, so that they can follow in the same way. Great fun!

If you feel a bit more adventurous, why not buy a few stencils and make the bedroom into a magical wonderland? Flying horses, fairies and trees and so much more. You never know, your child may love it so much that they will go on to be an interior designer!

Beautiful Wall Murals
Beautiful Wall Murals | Source
A Hand Painted Toy Box
A Hand Painted Toy Box | Source

Make A Personalised Toy Box

Every child's bedroom, however clean and tidy will always have toys, or bits of toys laying around on the floor or window ledge. Even if they have a toy box, you can guarantee that they will have filled it up so that the top layer of toys falls on the floor every time you move around.

So making a Toy Box is a great idea. All you need is a large cardboard box. Most of us have at least one of these hanging around somewhere in the house. If you haven't then every store will have loads at the back of their shop. Just ask if you can take one, they will be happy to oblige.

When you have the box, lay it on the floor, and cut it into the shape that you want. Then get some wrapping paper, plain or even Christmas paper will do, especially ones made for children, and get your children to cut the paper, and glue it on one side so that it will fit around the box.

They can also make stars, or flowers out of the cut offs, and stick them to the sides of the box too. Adding wooden letters, or ABC plastic ones that they no longer play with, is a good idea too. In fact anything and everything can be added as long as your child is enjoying themselves!

Of course, if your child is a little bit older, you can make a wooden box, using the proper tools, but obviously only under strict supervision. As an idea to get them started, you can buy smooth wood, child hammers and tools, in a range of colors, especially made for children to learn woodwork.

Filling In Cracks And Holes

Its only when Winter arrives do we realise exactly where the gaps and gaping holes have appeared over the summer. The wind whistles through, and the icy blast wraps around your ankles. So a good idea is to buy some filler to bridge those gaps.

Buy a scraper or use an old blunt knife, and get your child involved in the filling. Make it fun, most of the fillers are quite thick, so after applying the mixture to the hole, they can make a face or pattern in it. Leave it alone however much of a mess they make! After they go to bed exhausted from 'helping mommy' you can then sand down the plaster until it fits properly into the gap.

A doggy Draft Excluder
A doggy Draft Excluder | Source

Make A Draught Excluder

However much we try to keep warm in the Winter, there always seems to be a draught coming from under the doors. Why not make a fun draught excluder? Not only will it look great, it will keep your feet toasty too!

Take your child to buy the material. Let them feel the cotton or silk to get an idea of the type they like. You will be surprised at how soon they will show a preference. Either buy the needles and cotton that you need, or if your child wants to make the whole excluder, you can buy material glue that will do the job just as well.

Sit on the floor, and spread out the cloth, and under supervision let your child cut the cloth with child scissors, if its to difficult, let them hold the cloth while you are doing it. Then let them loose with the glue, and while that's drying, give them loads of old clothes, cotton stuffing, and other things that can be used to fill up the draft excluder. A good idea is to collect the small polystyrene beads that you find in packing, or bubble wrap. Your child will have a great time jumping in the beads or seeing how many bubbles they can pop!

When the glue is dry, they can then stuff the excluder and stick big eyes on it to make a snake, or even ears to turn it into a dog. Make sure that you have lots of felt for them to use.

Sanding Down A Cabinet
Sanding Down A Cabinet | Source

Sanding Down A Table Or Cabinet And Then Painting It.

Children love making a mess. That's a fact. So if you have a small table or cabinet that's in real need of restoration, why not let your child have a go? All you need is some sandpaper, rags, and the color paint of their choice.

Before you start, make sure there is enough clean air coming into the room. There's nothing worse than dust flying about. So, if you have a garage or shed that is reasonably warm, then its probably better to do it there.

If your child is Asthmatic, never let him or her sand down the table. It can start an asthma attack, just let them watch, helping out by painting the drawers or putting the paint in jars, ready for painting.

Even if your child is fine, try and get them to wear a cloth mask, or even a toy mask to stop the dust getting down their throat. Even this can be fun, they can dress up as a bandit or pirate!

Then let them loose with the sandpaper! They will love scrubbing away all the old paint, especially if they can make a mess. Then when they have finished they can paint it. Just imagine their little faces when it looks brand new!

Training For The Future

These are just a few ideas that will help your child become independant in the future. Incorporating DIY into their play, they will see these chores and necessary jobs as something to be enjoyed and not dreaded as they get older. And of course the earlier they learn, the easier it will be to do when they get married and have a family of their own. A lot of people leave things undone in their house purely because they don't know how to start the job, or have no idea what tools and equipment to use.

By teaching the children DIY in early life, they will learn to respect their homes and be able to spot any problems before they get out of hand. And hopefully they will go on to teach their own children too.


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