When you choose to tackle a home project yourself, you sacrifice a large amount of time to doing up your house. If you’re a parent, that means you need a way to keep the children busy while you and, potentially, your partner get on with the hard work during the weekends or the evenings. But kids are inquisitive and, what’s more, they tend to want to spend their free time with the people they love the most; you. So how can you involve them in the DIY experience without sacrificing the final quality?
A good way of keeping kids busy is by having them bring you tools, drinks, and snacks. Of course you’ll need a kid of a certain age for this, but from about age five or six until they’re in their early teens this can be a wonderful way to keep them involved and busy. Asking them to help you makes them feel important and the time you spend working while they wait for you to need them again is time that’s well-spent talking. You may find that DIY situations lead to far more open conversations than you might otherwise have!
For tiny children, helping to decorate may be a bit beyond them. However, if you are removing wallpaper or doing other messy and destructive work they can give you a hand here or there. Some may also really enjoy the ensuing cleanup and as long as you keep an eye on their safety they can be a helping hand you’ll be really glad of. Don’t take risks with issues such as tetanus or mould, however; these can cause issues.
Alternatively, buy some canvases and some paint, cover a corner of the room in newspapers
and let them doodle and noodle about while you do the painting. With a little paintbrush of their own they can even paint part of the wall you haven’t gone over yet. Be sure to praise them even if their work isn’t perfect – this will help you bond and give them a sense of achievement. They’ll be better painters when their hand-eye coordination gets better!
Older children can help with more complex tasks and may even be able to do some truly helpful things such as hammering, painting properly, or gobbing up wallpaper. Don’t discount tiny helping hands – they can make a huge difference, especially in terms of morale. Buying a set of appropriately-sized tools or some toy equivalents can also help your child feel like the changes in the house are partly under their control, which can help keep them from acting out in response.
Good luck and don’t forget to take before and after shots!