The thought of getting your kids involved in the various DIY jobs you have around the house probably fills you with dread and apprehension. The disaster scenarios are endless – paint on carpet, holes in walls and trips to A&E all spring to mind. But dealt with carefully children can make the process of doing DIY around the house a fun prospect and could enhance your relationship with your little ones. The chances for improving their knowledge are huge and it also fills time during otherwise boring school holidays. Just take a deep breath and see what you can achieve – it might just surprise you!
Design – Kids are great at this. Sit them down with a pen and paper, paints and crayons (or computers for older kids) and ask them to redesign your kitchen or bathroom (or wherever).They will come up with lots of weird and wonderful things which we as adults may never have thought of. The sense of satisfaction will be immense for them and when their ideas come to fruition they will be so proud.
Painting – All kids love to paint and most love to get a bit mucky. Obviously your carpets won't appreciate a daubing with emulsion – but why not let the kids loose outside on the fence or the shed? Give them a good sized brush so they can see their efforts more quickly and off they go. They may, given time, get good enough to be let loose on the inside of the house! If you do decide the living room walls could do with their help – then rollers are great. Cover everything up including them, and let them do the lower half of the wall. Generally it is hard to get painting wrong with a roller and some water based paint and anyway you can always do the top coat yourself to cover any little mistakes.
Carpentry – Remember banging in nails with your Dad? It's a skill we all remember having a go at and something which both girls and boys enjoy. Try a small and fast project such as a bird feeder or dolls house. There are plenty of books and internet sites which can help you with designs.
Demolition – What fun for kids! We spend most of our lives telling them off for breaking things – but in this instance we can finally encourage a little bit if vandalism. With all the right safety precautions taken place there is no reason a child can't help with removing bricks or making holes in walls. It is a great chance to explain how houses are built and what is lurking behind the plasterboard. For more information on keeping your kids safe see www.rospa.com/childsafety
Basically, any DIY task you have to do can be a learning experience for a child. Don't be afraid to let them get involved. The possibilities are endless and it can really improve your relationship with the budding DIYers of the future.