[Note: This is a sponsored post contributed by Janet Beckley with John C. Flood, a local company that offers heating, air conditioning, and plumbing repairs and service to Arlington, Alexandria, Falls Church, Fairfax, Metro DC, and surrounding areas.]
If you’ve ever heard that classic kid complaint: “I’m bored!” — this post is for you! Hearing that particular grievance from children can cause a real pang of guilt for many parents, because we try so hard to keep our kids stimulated, learning, and growing.
While there are many attention-hogging devices designed to keep children quiet, it’s valuable for them to also learn practical skills and develop hobbies out here in the physical world. Do-It-Yourself projects and home improvement chores may not be exciting to every adult, but these day-to-day tasks offer some of the best opportunities to spend time with your child, teach them practical life skills and cross a few items off your to-do list at the same time.
Check out our suggestions below and corral your kid to help out next time the task comes up.
Something for Everyone: Yard Work
Available in all four seasons, there is almost always something you can do to spruce up or maintain your property — simple but important tasks like shoveling, raking leaves, mowing, and planting can all be appropriate for your kids. Sometimes the work can be tough, but when you make a game out of the labor, you may find that you and you child are both having fun.
Seasonal planting in pots or in a garden is a low-key weekend project — and relatively cheap! Most large home improvement stores have great sales on annuals in the spring, so you can get a nice variety of healthy plants to bring up. Kids love getting dirty, so planting time will be fun.
Section off a spot in the garden or set aside some pots for your son or daughter. That little area of the yard can be their responsibility. Regular watering, weeding, and the occasional pruning alongside your child will help them take pride of ownership in their little garden covey, and perhaps discover a lifelong hobby.
DIY Home Improvements
Painting the front door, shutters, or any sort of one-time upgrade can be a fun, low-stress project for you and your child. Involving your kid in the decision-making process will make it more enjoyable for both of you!
Set some ground rules from the start. For instance: we’re painting the door red, so it’s about choosing what shade of red will look best, then narrowing it down from there with your child’s input. Bring them to the store to choose paint swatches, and when it’s time to paint, wear clothing that can handle a few paint splatters.
Damage Control: Home Plumbing Problems
When more, shall we say, problematic DIY projects come up — for example, a clogged toilet or sink — these are still great learning opportunities for your kids (even when they’re gross). If the bathroom is flooded, you might not want them splashing around in bare feet, but watching you resolve the situation from the doorway is still a pretty novel and interesting sight for most kids.
The point here is that they can ask questions and gather some knowledge about how to fix this type of problem themselves in the future, or to know when it’s serious enough to call a plumber. Kids turn into teens and young adults — and toilet plunging and drain snaking don’t always need to be the exclusive responsibility of mom and dad!
Car Chores: Cleaning, Maintenance, and Gas
If you change your own oil, enjoy washing your car on a sunny weekend, or know how to make repairs, have your kid help out. For younger children, they might just be along for the ride, but they’ll love spending time with you.
If your teen is working on a learner’s permit, they’re probably dying to join you on these errands, just to rack up some practice hours. Learning to drive is an American rite of passage, and like the rest of these experiences, they’ll remember these times with you as they enter adulthood.