If the kids are underfoot or bored, you can find ways to entertain them while getting things done around the house. There are so many tasks that little hands can help with—ones that can expand little minds in the process. Prepare your kids for the future by having them tag along with you while you knock off a few weekend chores. Here’s a selection of home fix-it projects to do with your kids. You might be surprised at how fast they pick things up and how often they’ll want to pitch in.
Smaller Painting Projects
While you might not trust your nine-year-old to paint the living room, most kids can handle smaller paint projects (with a little supervision). If your mailbox, lamppost, or similar fixture is looking shabby, turn your kids loose with a bucket of primer. If they coat it from top to bottom, there’s no way they can mess it up, and they’ll feel a sense of accomplishment afterward. Next, work together to provide the final coats of acrylic or latex paint. Choose a cheerful hue, and consider whether a makeover with painted flowers, bugs, butterflies, and other things will work.
Clean and Decorate the Window Wells
You probably never give your home’s window wells much thought, and for that reason, they might be looking a little drab. Inspect them with your kids. Explain how they function to bring sunlight into the basement while also providing a way to escape during an emergency. You can show them how to re-caulk any cracks to shut out water and bugs and keep the floor of the well neat and orderly. Afterward, you can decorate the window well together with potted plants, toys, and the like to create a diorama viewable from indoors.
Change a Tire
This one is a little more dependent on age. You can teach your teen—especially one who’ll be driving soon—to change a car tire and your younger children to change a bike tire. In both cases, take a step-by-step approach, showing them how to prop up the vehicle (inverting the bicycle and using a jack for a car), remove the tire, inspect it, and either install the spare or replace the inner tube. Along the way, discuss other ways to maintain the car or bike, and involve them in the actual process of fixing things.
Wash the Car
The last of our home fix-it projects to do with your kids may be the most fun, and it’s always a cool activity in the hotter months. Smaller children will feel very grown-up when you entrust them to take care of the car, while older kids will get a better appreciation of what it takes to keep one running. Delegate jobs according to age and likelihood to cause damage! Little ones can handle mixing up the cleaning solution, handling a sponge, and rinsing, while you might entrust older kids with detailing the interior and waxing the body. Expand the experience with a quick look and lesson under the hood.