Sunday, January 6, 2008

Home Depot for Kids

If you and your kids enjoy crafts, this monthly event is a must. The first Saturday of every month from 9am to 12pm, Home Depots across the country sponser a kids workshop (ages 5-12) that is fun, relatively easy, and totally free. All materials and tools are provided. There is even a dedicated store employee available to answer questions and assist when needed. All you have to do is show up at the correct time and help your kids complete the project. Their website indicates that no pre-registration is required but that the workshop is "while supplies last". I advise calling your local Home Depot to verify that they are participating and details for their store. Here's our experience:

My kids love Home Depot's workshops! They get dressed and complete their morning chores without complaining so we can get there early. Once they are ready to leave, they don their orange Home Depot aprons (provided free on your first visit) and grab their tools (we prefer having our own). When we arrive, the employee in charge hands us the monthly kit. While tables are provided, we prefer to work on the floor because it makes hammering easier. We find some place out of the way and spread out our pieces. Here are the kids with the pieces to our Castle Bank which we made this past Saturday. If you look to the right of my son, you will see the toolbox that we also made at Home Depot. It is actually a coloring toolbox that has holes for holding 8 crayons upright on the sides but we use it to hold our tools. In it we put a small hammer, a multi-tip screwdriver, a tape measure, a small bottle of wood glue, needle-nosed plyers, and extra finishing nails we've accumulated. The box is too small for the hammer but we make it work.

My kids aren't able to complete the projects themselves. I've found my job is to interpret the instructions, hold nails while they hammer, and finish tightening screws. While the necessary tools are provided (hammers, screwdrivers, and glue), I strongly recommend you bring along a pair of needle-nosed pliers for holding nails while your kids hammer. You'll wish you had them the first time your fingers get smashed.

Once the kids are done with their projects, they get the cooresponding pin to add to their collection on their aprons. They also receive a certificate of completion and get to take home their completed project. Here are my kids holding their finished Castle Banks. Click on the photo for a closer view. After finishing, my like to bring them home and paint them. Acrylic craft paint works well. You can spray on a coat or two of sealer to protect the paint also.

My kids love the projects that they have completed. So far, we have made a bi-plane, a fire truck bank with removable ladders, the toolbox, and the castle bank featured in this post. We've also seen a baseball bat holder, a memory box, napkin holders, and many other neat projects in store. Some of the projects they can play with (like the airplane and fire engine), some can be used in your home (like the napkin holder and baseball bat holder), and many of them make great gifts.

Homeschool subjects covered and benefits include:

  • arts/crafts

  • woodworking

  • painting

  • following directions

  • hand-eye coordination

  • tool safety

  • sense of accomplishment, self-esteem, pride (the good kind)

  • parent-child bonding
Give it a try sometime!

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Michelle Olsen Sasak said...

We haven't tried the Home Depot one yet, but now I really want to. The castles are so neat! We go every 2nd & 4th Sat. from 10-11 to Lowe's. This week is a pick up truck, and I think next time is a toolbox. We've had a lot of fun with it.