Andy and I have six sons, and we love getting them involved in our work. We also have a daughter who isn’t old enough to be at our work sites yet, but once she gets a little bit older, she’ll be working right alongside us, too. In our house, we have all the normal chores and homework that kids all over the country do, but when school’s out and on weekends, our kids are always learning about the great advantages of hard work and how it pays off.
Because I’m not shy about talking about our kids and how helpful they can be, people ask me a lot about how we choose different tasks for our boys that will teach them new skills but also keep them safe. I’ve put together some ideas for great renovation jobs that your kids can do with you without you having to worry about their safety!
Talk to Your Kids About Construction Site Safety
Before you bring them on-site with you for any work, it’s important to first have a conversation about construction site safety. They should know that they should never wander around without adult supervision, that they shouldn’t walk under ladders or get in the way of professional contractors who are working in the house, and that they should always wear protective eyewear and take other steps to avoid injuries.
Construction Site Prep and Cleanup
After your demolition team has come in, you’re likely going to have some cleanup to do before you move on to installing new items like cabinets and flooring. Kids are great helpers with this kind of cleanup work. Make sure that they’re wearing sturdy, closed-toe shoes and that they won’t be in danger of stepping on or running into anything dangerous, but then you can have them right by your side, helping you pick up, dust, and sweep rooms as you get ready for renovations.
After you’re done with renovations, you’re probably going to have a lot of sawdust and other debris on the floor, as well. This is a good time to get the brooms out and put your kids to work with you.
Starting in elementary school or middle school, kids are old enough to learn how to properly use a paint roller and do a good job of painting a room without leaving behind a bunch of runs, missed spots, or handprints. Give your kids a lesson on masking off trim and other items, preparing to paint, and then using different tools to create an even coat of paint across a whole wall. Then you can work with them or leave them to paint on their own.
If you have younger kids who aren’t quite ready for the job of actually painting a room, you can have a little painting party for them the night before you paint the room to let them feel included, too.
Lawn Mowing and Light Landscaping
If your kids are a bit older, you might want to have one of them mow the lawn to get ready for the landscapers to arrive. Or, if you’re not hiring professional landscapers, you and your older kids can work together on the yard to spruce it up.
The key to including your kids in any renovation is to make sure that the job is age appropriate and that you monitor and supervise their work to be sure that they’re safe and that they don’t need any help.
To keep your kids interested in the work, work with them and be sure to point out the progress they’ve made and how much they’ve contributed. The more you show them what their hard work has accomplished, the more they’ll appreciate it and want to get more involved in your business as they get older.