Does the winter weather have you stuck inside with bored, antsy kids? We get it! Snow days can be fun and exciting at first, but as the day, or days, drag on, we’re often left wondering, “What can we do next?” We must, after all, avoid the “I’m bored” comment from our children at all costs!
Movies, crafts, and make believe works for a while, but when you’ve exhausted all of those options, how about some kid-friendly home improvement projects? Now, this may have some of you who find comfort in a neat, clean home freaking out a little, but hear us out: some projects are kid friendly, and most importantly, it will keep youngsters occupied for a while, too! It’s a snow day miracle!
We’ve compiled a list of potential projects that you can tackle with the youngsters. It might be a good idea to set aside some closet space for the supplies you’ll need for your next snow day and do a little prep work ahead of time! It will make your next stuck-inside-for-hours day much easier!
A book shelf for their bedroom: Mom and Dad will have to help out with the construction part of the bookshelf, if you are starting from a box of unassembled parts. Or, you can buy a used one from a Facebook yard sale site, a presconstruction spice rack from Ikea or simply stack some crates together and attache them with screws. Once you have constructed the bookshelf, simply lay out a cloth or tarp and let the kids paint and decorate their bookshelf on their own. Afraid of letting your kids lose with paint? Let them use designer contact paper to decorate the shelves. Either option can get their creative juices flowing and provide them with a sense of pride and ownership. Once they have finished and the paint is dry, you can ask your kids to organize their craft supplies or toys into baskets and bins for the shelves of the new bookshelf. Yes, you heard us correctly, you can ask them to clean and organize their room!
A dog (or cat) bed for Fido: Again, this will require some help from Mom and Dad. But we’re envisioning a project very similar to the bookshelf. Parents can assemble a wooden dog bed frame (how about using those old wooden crates everyone loves!), and then allow the kids to paint and decorate the exterior. They can paint doggie footprints and even write the name of the family pet on the bed. For children old enough, you can even teach them to sew a new dog bed. If they aren’t quite old enough to do that on their own, consider making a no-sew blanket for the dog bed.
Bird feeder: This one is completely kid friendly if you have kid-safe scissors! If you save your cardboard milk or juice containers, you can turn them into creative bird feeders. We’ve found a template for you here. Let the kids exercise their creativity again by painting the bird feeders as they like. Maybe use it as an experiment to see what the birds in your backyard like more – bright colors or pastels, glitter or plain? And certainly, with an easy Google search, you can also use it as an opportunity to educate your children (and yourself) on what kind of birds are native to your area.
Testing smoke detectors: This isn’t much of a DIY project but it is still important and a great opportunity to talk household safety with kids. If you missed checking your smoke detectors when the time changed, then use a long day stuck inside as an opportunity to do so. Test the detectors or simply exchange the batteries now. Your kids can serve as great assistants handing over new batteries for you. Once finished with the smoke detectors, take the opportunity to remind them of any emergency fire plans for your home.
Some of these projects will take some prep work from Mom and Dad, but with a little planning you’ll be providing your kids a memorable snow day that will also encourage their creativity, too. We feel sure that the youngsters will also be quite proud of their work and you might even find that they ask you to find them another project they can help with around the house!
Do you have any tried-and-true DIY projects for the kids in your home? We’d love to hear about it! Let us know in the comments below!