4 Big Projects for Parents and their Kids

It’s worthwhile to take the kids to places that excite and educate them, but sometimes it’s not so easy to pack them into the car and drive them there. In those cases, it’s good to have a big project to work on at home—something you and the kids can return to now and again. While general arts and crafts can do the trick, it’s good to introduce a long-term project to acquaint kids with taking their time on something to do it right. Here are four big projects for parents and their kids.

Explore an Appliance

Kids love to take apart, rebuild, and explore devices of any kind. Naturally, disassembling household machinery is forbidden, but that’s what makes it so mysterious and exciting. If you have an old appliance that’s on its last legs and you’re ready to replace it, take it out to the garage or backyard, spread out some newspaper or a tarp, and tell your kids you’re going to open it up and see what makes (or made) it tick.

Toasters, alarm clocks, DVD players, radios, and other gadgets are perfect for taking apart and exploring. If you’re not ready to dispose of an appliance but plan to maintain or repair it yourself, take your kids on a tour of the interior. Cleaning an air conditioning unit, for example, teaches them a skill they may need in the future. Explain the importance of safety by wearing goggles and gloves and watching out for sharp parts.

Rock On

Rock gardens are another safe and fun way to work together and create a beautiful common space in the back or front yard. You don’t have to create a dry garden with your kids—find a space off to the side where they can arrange formations of rocks and stones, sticks and shells, and other natural objects. Encourage them to color rocks with weather-resistant paints and to draw up plans for the final appearance of their garden. The best part is they can reconstruct and modify this long-term project repeatedly!

Paint a Pretty Picture

Doodling and painting on large sheets of paper are fun but not as exciting as converting an entire wall into an art project. You’ll likely never turn your kids loose on the living room wall. Instead, consider whether the kids can go crazy with pencils, paint, markers, and more on a section of the basement, an outdoor shed, or another part of the house. Tell them they have to plan it out rather than splatter the walls. Don’t expect the Sistine Chapel, but their creativity may surprise you!

Glorious Gardens

Here’s the last of our four BIG projects for parents and their kids. Little kids love to garden because they have permission to dig and get grubby. Planting seeds and tilling the soil give you an opportunity to talk about how a plant grows and how we acquire the food we eat. A big barbecue or picnic at the end of the year featuring the fruits (and vegetables) of your labor could be a lot of fun!

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Written by Logan Voss

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