Taking part in family activities can improve the bonds we have with each other, especially if we’re working towards a common goal. Working on a home improvement project as a family can be a great way to do this, but it’s also important to recognise that having a big project going on at home can be a disruptive time for kids.
So, how can you ensure your little ones get the best experience out of your home makeover? Here are some kid friendly home improvement tips, highlighting ways you can keep you and your kids happy, safe and chilled during a potentially stressful time!
When you work together with your children you can teach them lifelong skills. You can start the home improvement process by asking them what they think would look good – you might get some outlandish answers, but sometimes little ones can give us strokes of genius!
This is particularly applicable to projects that involve their bedroom or spaces they tend to use most. They might like some more privacy in their play room, which you could give them by adding frosted coverings to the window or by installing some blinds. Ask your kids their opinions and you could be surprised at what they tell you they want for their space.
Get help from them
Your kids will be able to help you out throughout the project too. Even if this only amounts to carrying things for you and helping you to cross things off your list, they will be all the more respectful and understanding of your project when they feel involved in it. Of course, you don’t want them going anywhere near dangerous stuff like windows that need repairing, live wires or toxic chemicals.
Research what kids of their age group should be able to help you out with – even children as young as 5 or 6 can help with things like sanding or cleaning up. Make sure you use non-toxic chemical cleaning solutions when they are helping you, and supervise them throughout the process. This is a great learning moment for them, especially if your child likes the “hands-on” approach!
When it comes to doing home improvements with kids running around, the better you plan, the better off you’ll be. This is especially true when it comes to timing, but also when it comes to the materials, and going about your daily lives.
Children will need explanations and reminders about how to brush their teeth and get ready in the morning when the bathroom is being redone, or to stay out of certain rooms. You can do this by putting up signs and by setting a good example yourself.
Choose your moments carefully
It’s so much easier to paint a room when everyone’s in bed, or out of the house, and you can concentrate fully on what you’re doing. So choose your times carefully! Don’t be too strict though – you don’t want to restrict yourself to the extreme with deadlines and cut-off dates. If your planning is too tight, you may shoot yourself in the foot in the long run.
Give yourself some flexibility so you can calmly go through your plan. Try to get contractors to come at times you have arranged for the kids to be away, or take them out yourselves. It can be difficult to keep kids safe and tradesmen calm when curious youngsters are running around amidst tools being used and materials being hauled around.
Think about safety before starting
You don’t want a kid accidentally touching a live wire sticking out of a wall, or falling off the side of a staircase which is temporarily missing bannisters. Apart from having an in-depth conversation with your child, there are also ways to remind them to not go near unfinished rooms, like using signs and plastic coverings on entrances you don’t want them using.
Teach them about hidden dangers in a calm, non-alarming way so that they are able to learn to assess risk themselves. Again, this can be a great learning experience for your children, so rather than shielding them completely, take this opportunity to educate your kids on home improvement safety guidelines.
While there are some projects you don’t want to undertake yourself, like knocking down a wall, getting new uPVC windows put in or putting in new plumbing, some things you really can do comfortably, with the help of your kids! Certain jobs will require professional assistance, which are the times where planning and safety take on another level of importance. Use these tips and you’ll have home improvement whiz kids grouting and tiling with the best of them!
*this is a collaborative post but all opinions are my own