When you’ve got a lot of projects to take are of around the house, your first instinct might be to send the kids out of the house on play dates, or into the yard with their toys. But getting your children involved in working around the house presents many great learning opportunities and, when taught correctly and monitored appropriately, can actually help you get your work done faster!
Below are five easy home projects the whole family can get involved in, from our friends at HomeAdvisor.
1. Painting the walls. You can paint the high parts of the walls; your kids can help cover the lower areas. It’s a project most of them will love, and it also gives them a beginner handyperson’s education in undercoats and how to place tape to avoid painting the baseboards. You will need to supervise them throughout the process, but the sense of accomplishment they’ll feel when they actually get to see the completed room painted a whole new color is enormous. If they’re too little to really help, let them show their creativity by painting smiley faces, clouds, flowers, that you’ll paint over later.
2. Clean out the drains. Drains get stopped up over time, but there’s no need to use chemicals to un-clog them, unless you’ve gotten something major stuck down there. Baking soda, salt, and cream of tartar mixed together into a paste is a concoction that’s safe enough for children to use, and strong enough to get the job done. Let the kids pour this mixture down the drain, then follow it up yourself with a kettle full of boiling water you pour down yourself. Let it stand for 30 minutes to an hour, then let your kids run some fresh sold water through the drain to finish up.
3. Give the mailbox a makeover. Over time, your mailbox can take a beating. This is a great project to get your kids involved in. Wash the mailbox with sponges, water, and mild soap to remove all debris. Then decide: does the box simply need a fresh coat of paint? A new house number? Decorations like flowers or flags? Let everyone in the family have a say—and a hand in making your designs come to life.
4. Plant a container garden. Kids love to get down in the dirt, so why not redirect that enjoyment towards something with an actual purpose? They can create holes for young plants and seedlings, get them situated, and water them in. You can also let them choose some of their favorite fruits and vegetables to plant in the garden—they’ll be so excited to see the plants they’ve chosen shoot up and get bigger day by day.
5. Get them involved in overall house-cleaning. While this might seem like a big chore, you can help kids find a fun way to get involved in the process. Show them how to swish a feather duster around with flair, and they can dust off your end tables and other low-lying areas. You can also make tidying their rooms into a game: how fast can they stack the blocks, or how many dolls will fit in one cubby? Not only does this help you (a little), it helps your children learn good practices that will benefit them through their whole lives.