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DIY with Dad

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Home improvements the kids can help with

For some homeowners, getting to tackle a do-it-yourself project can be difficult - if not all-out impossible - when there are young ones running around nearby. After all, trying to preoccupy youngsters while mom and dad work on a home project can be a project in and of itself.

But, what about finding some DIY projects that your kids can work on as well? Working on tasks together is not only a terrific bonding experience, but also helps teach your children valuable life skills and provides them with an encouraging sense of accomplishment.

To help you get started, here are five kid-friendly DIY projects.

Wall art

Encourage your children's creativity and have them create a one-of-a-kind art piece that will help fill the void on that blank wall. Purchase a few large pieces of art paper or even canvas and paints that match your colour scheme. Prepare an area with drop cloths and let your kids have fun creating artwork that you'll be proud to showcase in your home. When the artwork is dry, have it framed so that it can be properly displayed.

Gardening

The approaching spring season means a never-ending list of work for many home gardeners. Get your kids off the couch and appreciating the outdoors in their very own backyard by involving them in some garden improvements. When planning your plantings for this year's vegetable and flower gardens, bring your children along to the local nursery to help pick out seeds and plants. Many kids love to play in the dirt and mud, so take advantage of that while preparing your gardens for planting. As the months go by, have your children take on the duties of watering the gardens, which will also allow them to note the progress of their plantings.

Fun with fabrics

Have a couch that could use a little spruce up? Pick up some material that suits your decor and sit down with your kids to make some lovely throw pillows - an ideal project for a rainy day. There are several pillow templates to choose from online and at fabric stores. Have your kids cut the fabric in the necessary shapes and sizes and show them how to sew the pieces together. Then let them have fun stuffing the filling in. This is a great opportunity to teach your young ones some basic sewing skills.

Outdoor decor

After years of continuous usage and exposure to the elements, clay and ceramic flower pots often start to look faded and drab. Let your kids' creative minds flourish while giving your pots a facelift. Pick up some stencils and craft paints and then hand the decorating reins over to the young artists. Not only will this give new life to your tired-looking flower pots, but it will provide you with a statement piece for your patio or deck.

Woodwork

Teach your kids safety and some practical skills by building a bookshelf or birdhouse together. Various design plans can be found online and this is a great opportunity to demonstrate how to use a measuring tape, hammer in a nail, and perhaps even use simple power tools (with your close-by supervision, of course). Once the piece is put together, have your kids stain or paint it for a finished look. This is one project that is guaranteed to have them proudly declaring: "I made that!"

By Erin Kelly

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