This Summer, Take on a Kid Friendly Renovation Project
Are tasks and ideas piling up on your to-do list, but it’s hard to find time to tackle them, let alone a sitter? Why not take on a kid friendly renovation project with the family?! Having the kids involved not only makes scheduling easier for everyone, but it’s a great bonding and learning experience. Keeping children involved in your home renovation process can also keep them from being underfoot the entire time; often, once they’ve done some work, they’ll be ready to go back to playing.
Obviously, not every job is going to be right for kids. However, it can be surprisingly easy to find a kid friendly renovation project that can be done with supervision and guidance. Some parts of your larger projects, kids may be able to handle on their own, depending on their age. The first step is to identify any risks and take all safety precautions. From there, you’ll be able to delegate jobs to your young ones.
Be sure to explain all tasks and stress the importance of safety gear. Always talk to your child about any potential project to make sure they understand what the project is, and lay down firm ground rules for the renovation and how to be safe during it. Pay attention to your kids during the process. For example, if your child is bothered by wearing a mask to protect from dust and keeps removing it, then sanding projects should be off the table for now. Cleaning wood or walls before sanding, and priming and painting afterwards, is something that they can help with!
Before most parts of a home can be renovated, there’s usually some clean out to be done. Children are usually ready to help tackle this with you as you clean through closets and storage and take out anything that can be donated or sold. If there’s a lot of toys that they’re not using any more, you can even incentivize their help by allowing them to keep what they make on their sales at a garage sale to encourage enthusiasm in the clean out!
If this isn’t every kid’s dream, we don’t know what is. Prepared with full safety gear, especially closed toed shoes to eye protection, show your kids the proper ways to hold tools as you knock out shelves, walls, and whatever it is you want removed! They’ll have a blast with proper supervision on this part of the renovation.
With any power tool and kid friendly renovation project, use caution! But sandpaper on a surface that needs stripped, like window or door trip, a fireplace mantle, or a shelf could be a good way to bring the kids into a renovation project. As mentioned in the example above on safety, be sure to use a dust mask, as well as eye protection, gloves, and sand outside or in a well-ventilated area.
From a young age, we encourage children to paint, starting with their fingers and moving on up to large markers, water colors, and more. Most kids are thrilled to cover rooms in color! If it’s their own spaces, allowing them to choose an accent wall color (or even the entire room color!), can make the process extremely exciting. You’ll want to be sure to remove or cover all personal belongings and furniture, and lay drop cloths over the floor.
For extra family fun, before painting, play tic-tac-toe, draw, and have fun on the walls with carpenter pencils or primer paint! Then, provide a tutorial to them on the best way to use rollers or brushes, and depending on your child, you can follow them along the wall to roll in drips, or do a final coat yourself for the perfect wall.
Peeling away wallpaper may sound annoying to a lot of adults, but this tedious and repetitive task is surprisingly thrilling to many kids. Even if they don’t finish the job, any amount of wallpaper you don’t peel off yourself is a bonus. Be careful not to leave ladders accessible and within temptation’s reach if the kids are unsupervised during the task.
Now, grouting tile can be extremely difficult. Luckily, installing backsplash can be a kid friendly renovation project, thanks to sheet mosaics and the DIY sticker back splashes! Younger elementary age children are able to help place these and even apply them to the wall. If you are using grout, they will be able to help wipe the grout off of placed tiles on kitchen and bathroom walls.
Pull Up Carpet
Bring back out the gloves and eye protection! Remind your kids about the nails in the tacking strips and to pay attention to where they touch the tack strips and the edges of the carpet. A handy kid will be ready to use a rubber mallet and a pry bar to knock up tacking strips. If you cut down the room with the box cutter, the kids can also roll up the carpet for you. Less bending over for the adults!
If your home to-do list includes any outdoor elements, those often make for a perfect kid-friendly renovation project. Depending on age and your child’s love of dirt, they may love a shovel and planting a new tree. Maybe they’d like to help pick out and plant new flowers and herbs for the garden, walk the lawn to overseed, or more. They might be able to help you repair or build a fence, build a raised garden bed, install pavers or a retaining wall, or put in that fire pit. Your yard will be an enjoyable place for the entire family.
What’s great about all of these projects is that whenever you look at the finished project, you’ll have memories of working with your family to complete the task. You’ve empowered your kids to learn a new skill, taught the importance of safety, and helped build good character. Next time you’re starting a project at home, why not delegate a kid friendly renovation project or two to your child?
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Written by the NHC Team