Remodeling with children can be difficult, dangerous and frustrating, but adding some easy-to-do and affordable projects to the list can help them get involved. Here are 5 ideas for DIY home remodel projects that are kid-friendly.
Sandbox from a baby pool – Kids love playing in dirt and sand, but the typical sandboxes for kids can be an eyesore in a well-landscaped backyard. The solution? A DIY in-ground sandbox, and your kids will love helping you fix it. First, buy a plastic baby pool from a home improvement store or discount store – or use one you already have! The sides should be solid, not blow up.
Measure the circumference and depth, and draw the circle in an area of your yard that can be easily dug up. Dig a hole in the ground the same circumference and five inches deeper than your plastic baby pool. Drill holes in the bottom of the pool to allow for drainage, then fill with sand. Kids can help dig and fill the pool with sand, and they will have a great time choosing a location for their sandbox (and an even better time playing in it!)
Pack and Play reading tent – After your child outgrows a Pack-n-Play or playpen, there isn’t much you can do it with, but with this idea you can create a kid-friendly spot for your little ones to read and relax, at the same time reusing the Pack-n-Play and saving some money. Set up the Pack-n-Play like usual.
Using a pair of scissors, cut out the mesh from one side of the playpen, being careful not to cut the supporting material and seams on the side. Place a fitted child mattress sheet over the top (the mobile part of the Pack-n-Play will serve as a tent pole), then fill the inside with blankets and pillows.
Painting projects – Although many traditional remodeling projects can be difficult (or dangerous) for children, painting is easy, cheap and almost fool-proof, especially for older children. Allowing your children to help in painting projects can make them feel involved and in control, and gives you a little extra help!
Give them a small brush and ask them to help paint baseboards or small areas that would be easy for them to reach. Allow them to paint the bottom of the room as you paint the top, teaching them proper painting technique in the process. If your painting project is in your child’s room, give them a little freedom to choose their colors. While you have the paint out, give them a chance to create a masterpiece that you can frame and hang in their room.
Curb appeal – Great curb appeal is important to a home’s value and just looks nice. Your child can help you spruce up your outdoor area in several ways. Get supplies to plant flowers and let your child help fill the pots with dirt and place the plants. Ask him or her to weed landscaped areas or sweep the porch or sidewalk. Older children might be able to help put down mulch or pebbles in a garden.
DIY Stepping Stones – Making your own stepping stones for your outdoor area is a cost effective, fun and artistic way to get your children involved in home remodeling. You’ll need ready-to-mix concrete or mortar (a 40-lb bag will yield 3-5 stones and costs $6) and forms from wood or pans – the form must be about 2 inches thick.
Grab some stones or marbles to decorate as well as a wooden rod to “draw” with. Mix the concrete and pour into the pans. While the concrete is still wet, have your children decorate each stone with beads, marbles, gemstones or pebbles, or draw designs in the concrete. Let the stones dry for 48 hours, then they will ready to place in your yard. The project is fun for kids and adds whimsy to your backyard.
About the author:Jillian Watkinson is a well-respected freelance journalist with years of experience in the home and garden industry. When she’s not writing, you can find her covering the design showroom at Community Home Supply or working on her forthcoming book.