As a parent I believe one of the most important things I do is teach my children. I am responsible for teaching them all sorts of things including, but not limited to, manners, responsibility, and faith. Amongst those important things, I also want to teach them to DIY.
There are many important life skills that can be taught through DIY projects, like:
- Learning from mistakes
- Work Ethic
I don’t do it as often as I would like, but I try to include my kids in DIY projects. At their young ages (5 and 2), it takes a bit of planning and often times I make special DIY projects just for us to do together. To my kids, it is arts and crafts time.
We do some disposable art…you know, doodles, stickers, glue, and glitter. We do it a little. The kids get a lot of that at school. I save some of the art, but dispose of most of it after it has passed its prime on display on the fridge. Disposable art is quick, easy, and great. But, my bigger aim is to do real projects with my kids. Things we will use to decorate our home or things we will give as gifts. I think the qualities I mentioned above can only truly be developed and worked on through real projects (of course, kid-appropriate real projects).
More recently I have really come to enjoy doing these projects with my oldest. We have started making decor for his bedroom. Not only does he enjoy the creative process, but he is proud of his work and displaying it in his room. Two recent projects have been the melted crayon art and faux zinc letters spelling out his nickname.
This was a great project for learning patience…the crayons don’t melt as quickly as you might expect. It was also a great project for learning through mistakes. He discovered pretty quick if he got wild with the hair dryer, the wax would blow all over the place.
The letters were great for working on perseverance and work ethic. It took 4 coats to get these looking like zinc and he stuck with it. This was also a reuse project, so it taught him we can create new things from things we already have and without spending any money.
I knew these projects were a success when he started begging to do more. He is starting to want to make more of a mark on his bedroom. I like that some of our early projects have imprinted on him and his instinct is to make, not to buy. With so much commercialization in the world, I wanted to teach my boys that through our own creative work we can make our space beautiful. We do not always have to buy things to beautify a space.
Creativity is so important for me to cultivate in my kids that I turned over my laundry room to them (most of it, anyway). I installed an arts and crafts center to store supplies for them to create with. There is a large table in this room to do projects on. We also let them use the table in the kitchen…it is nice for them to create there if we are hanging out in the family room.
Teaching through DIY is one of my favorite ways to spend quality time with my children. As they get older I am seeing how much they enjoy creating together, even if it is just sitting at the table scribbling with crayons. It makes my heart happy to see them bonding over creative endeavors.