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COVID-19 restrictions may start easing soon, but for the most part we are still being told to stay at home as much as possible. And with kids are out of school, adults are doing everything they can to keep them safe and healthy at home — and also find creative ways to alleviate the almost inevitable boredom and frustration kids are feeling right now, away from other relatives – like beloved grandparents or their ‘fun’ aunt. – and, of course, their friends.
There is really only so much Netflix and video game consoles can – or should – do to help. However, this may be a great time to get your kids to help with something very useful; sprucing up your home.
With just a few materials you can order online – or pick up curbside at the home improvement store – and tools you probably already have around the house, you can keep young hands and minds busy while giving your house some TLC.
Here are some simple, but cool, DIY projects to undertake to both improve your home and give your kids a productive outlet for their energy.
Build Raised Garden Beds
One trend right now – you can see it all over Instagram – is getting out into the backyard and doing some gardening.
A garden not only gives you the benefit of fresh herbs, vegetables or flowers, it’s also a natural outdoor classroom for your kids — helping them learn measurements, basic botany facts and giving them a boost to their mental and physical well-being. and creating some raised garden beds is a great project that covers all of this.
Raised garden beds help plants thrive because they’re easier to maintain, and they are a fairly easy project for children to assist with. To make a 4×4 raised garden bed, all you need are the following:
- Eight 2x4s that are 1.2 meters long
- Four untreated corner posts
- A box of 4 wood screws
- A drill
To construct the rectangular box, attach two 2x4s to each corner post (stacking them vertically). Have an older child hold the boards securely in place as you drill. When you’re finished building your structure, kids of all ages can assist you with picking out a sunny spot in the backyard for your raised garden bed and help you pour in the soil and plant your veggies or flowers.
Do a Mailbox Makeover
Brighten up your mailbox and give your heroic postal worker something to smile about when they deliver your mail. This project is best suited for those kids who can comfortably wear a face mask and use a spray paint can responsibly. To give your mailbox a facelift, you’ll need the following supplies:
- Medium-grit sandpaper
- Protective masks
- Painters tape
- Aluminum primer
- Metal paint spray paint in a vibrant color
Tag team sanding off rust and old paint on your mailbox while wearing protective masks. Then, have your child assist you with placing painters tape over any address numbers or the mail flag to protect them from being painted. Spray primer and allow it to dry before applying the metal spray paint. To customize your mailbox and make it stand out, use stencils to create flowers, letters, or let your budding young Van Goghs freehand different designs.
Construct a birdhouse
Though birds aren’t required to shelter in place, it’s nice for them to have a safe spot to land in your backyard, and exciting for the whole family to watch as they come and go. You can either construct a birdhouse using a pre-cut birdhouse kit (available to order online at most home improvement stores) or you can make the cuts yourself on a 2×6 or even a spare fence post.
Have older kids help you nail or wood glue it together and have little ones personalize it with paint to give the birds in your backyard a truly unique home to call their own.
Or, if you want to give your neighborhood squirrels a place to kick back, you can repurpose almost any kind of wood to make an adorable miniature picnic table.
Restyle Your Bathroom Pulls
You’d be surprised at how much of a design impact changing the drawer pulls on a bathroom vanity or bathroom cabinets can have. This inexpensive DIY project is quick to complete and perfect for little hands who can help you hold the hardware while you handle the screwdriver.
All you need for this project are new drawer pulls or knobs (have your child assist you with the measurements to see what size you need) and a screwdriver. Remove the old drawer pulls and have your kid at the ready to put all the old pieces in a single pile and hand you the screws and the new drawer pulls as you need them.
Feeling more ambitious? Change out the hardware on your kitchen cabinets for an easy upgrade. Or do this project on a small scale and swap out the handles or knobs on an old dresser to give it a new style.