I’m excited to welcome Hank McKinsey of Home By Hank for a fun guest post about home improvement projects for kids. House projects are a great way to bond with your kids. He has some great ideas for you to try this weekend with your family.
Home improvements can be a complicated and time-consuming task. When you’re in the midst of home renovations, it’s easy to miss out on quality time during the process. With the purchase of my new rental property, I have an endless list of things that need to be done, and only 24 hours in the day. My friends and I have found that by including children in the home renovation process, parents can maximize time with kids, teach valuable skills, and finish home projects!
Whether your goal is to finish a renovation, make some extra cash, or start a new project, check out this awesome list of fun home improvement projects for kids.
Projects Inside the House
Preparations – Make the prep process fun by including games when cleaning out a room that is getting a face lift. Play “search and rescue” for old toys, organize old items that need to be sold through a ‘shop keeper’ game, or simply have a race to see who can get the most toys from the room.
Renovation planning – Invite your children into the fun decision-making process to help them feel included and connected to the new space. While at the store, allow your children to pick out one item that will go into the new room.
Demolition – Kids love to bang around and make noise! Let them cause a ruckus when you’re ripping up carpet, tearing down a wall or shredding wallpaper.
Sorting and Organizing – Grab an old ice cube tray and the coffee can of assorted nuts and bolts and give them freedom to organize alongside you, or have them help you move furniture or equipment as you prepare to work.
Hand-Sanding – Give them a pair of work gloves to fit their hands to avoid splinters or cuts, a sanding block, and a paper mask to avoid dust, and set them loose on a lumpy wall or two for some pre-painting fun.
Painting – Kids of any age can take part in some aspect of home painting. From laying the tarp down, to clean up, invite them to work alongside mom and dad for a painting party. Kids love to see the fruits of their labor, and if you can create a section of wall that is for the children, while it may not look perfect, your children will love it. Make sure you keep your kids safe from toxic paint! Check out this resource for more information, here.
Smoke detector testing – It’s fun to push the buttons, and it teaches them a valuable safety lesson about regularly scheduled safety tests for the home.
Cabinet knob replacing – This is a safe and simple task for kids at any skill level and age that offers a tool-free busy activity with a quick reward of a job well-done.
Post-construction clean-up – Let them help vacuum, sweep, wipe counters, and wash windows and see the project to completion.
Indoor Garden Planting: Create a mini garden indoors using an old chest or old wood pallet. Don’t forget to let the children plant and get messy while decorating it.
Expert Tip: Permanently install whatever structure you make to a corner of the room or wall. It creates healthy air and improves home value!
Story Corner: A great way to improve any room that doesn’t involve too much construction is a story corner. Allows your children to paint and decorate as they desire and watch the reading happen! Check out this awesome transformation.
Projects Outside the House
Supplies Shopping – For painting, flooring, and just about anything, a trip to the hardware store can be fun and educational, teaching them about equipment, tools and how things get done.
Composting – Kids love dirt, but they love to dig even more. Teach them important lessons in waste reduction and gardening. Let them bring scraps out, turn the pile, or bin, and watch the dirt-making process happen over time.
Expert Tip: Purchase a compost “hand turning” device to speed up the compost process. It will save you a lot of money in the long run and help your garden grow big and bold!
Solar Lighting Installation – Allow the kids to help you place the outdoor solar lighting along walkways or gardens. It’s a quick, safe project when the weather’s nice. Make sure to go outside at night and see the new light glow!
Container gardening – Container gardening is perfectly suited for kids. It allows them to work in bite-sized intervals, by working one container at a time, when they have extra energy to expend.
Fantasy Garden Items: Turn old household items into creative “fantasy” garden amenities. From an old bed to old windows, painting and reusing items in the garden can be a perfect summer activity.
Expert Tip: Make a mini greenhouse out of old windows. You can keep temperature sensitive plants all year round
Money Making Projects
Taking all of the previous tips and games into consideration. Here is a great list of ways to make a few extra dollars, and get your kids involved!
Rent Your Extra Room: Renovate that old room or basement and rent it out on Craigslist or Airbnb. Not only will the preparation and cleaning be a fantastic teachable moment for the kids, meeting new people and learning to interact with “invited strangers” is a very important skill for kids to know.
Just make sure to know who is staying at your place! Airbnb has a great insurance policy, but when renting in my home, I always want to do a few more “checks.” A quick Google search provides several options for easy screening, and I have used this service in the past, but above all make sure to keep your family safe!
Blog Your Adventures: This tip is easier said than done, but if you are an artistic family, try to introduce writing, movie making, or photography in your child’s home life by creating a blog. Blogging is a fantastic was to teach children artistic skills and earn passive income at the same time.
Blogging content is endless; from gardening, renovating, life, the universe, and everything, you can always find topics to write about! If you are worried about privacy (and rightfully so) come up with pen names for your children.
Community Garden: Now that you have set up that fantastic garden, try to earn some income from it. Set up a few signs around your neighborhood inviting aspiring gardeners to “rent out” a plot of land for their garden. You can even supply some tools for a small fee. This resource teaches you how to build a garden in one day!
Kids love garden projects as it is fun to get muddy and dig holes in the backyard. You can also have your child help take photos and document your new garden transformation. This can be great blog content as well.
Expert Tip: Include a “Kids Garden” that families can use to teach their kids the basics of gardening.
Our new rental property has been an exciting adventure, and even more so when we get everyone involved. By using a little creativity to get the kids in on the renovation process, you don’t have to sacrifice family for DIY home and rental improvements. You can get good bonding time by working together, while your kids learn valuable skills in the process. Need more ideas on creative parenting? Check out this amazing resource.
About Hank: Is pizza a vegetable? Hank thinks so! Hank is a SAHD and home industry blogger. He blogs about the home and everything DIY. Check him out Twitter to learn more about his wacky adventures @homebyhank and at Home By Hank.