McKinney Mommas: The Family Handyman - How To Raise A DIY Kid! Google+

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

The Family Handyman - How To Raise A DIY Kid!

I had no idea my two year old daughter was such a DIY kid protégé in the making until a few months ago.  

After she climbed on Santa's lap this Christmas and clearly asked for a "Tool Set, please" I knew she was on her way to fixing up my house in no time.  

Okay, well maybe I won't ask her to install a new set of kitchen cupboards yet, but she totally enjoys "fixing" things - and that's a skill I want to encourage.  

If you want to encourage YOUR kiddos to be self-starters around the house and get their hands dirty, exploring the world of DIY Home Improvement then I have a website to introduce you to...........
The Family Handyman - #1 in DIY Home Improvement— offered this FREE advice to get your kids safely started with tools so you’ll have a DIY buddy for years to come.


1.          Getting familiar with tools: Real tools teach real responsibility. You can buy reasonably prices kid-sized tools at home centers and online retailers. Buy at least medium-quality tools. Cheap tools bend or break.
2.    Whack on bubble wrap: To a kid who’s not quite ready to drive nails, nothing feels better than whap, crackle and pop. Supply a kid-sized hammer or a rubber mallet. Hearing protection is also a good idea.

3.          Screw into drywall first: Start some screws in a scrap of drywall and let the kids screw them in with a screwdriver or a kid size cordless screwdriver. Drywall is a lot easier to screw than wood. 

4.        Build a bolt board: Wrenches are great for beginning tool users. Sink different-size bolts into boards and then let children use wrenches to attach color-coordinated nuts.

5.         Cut up foam core:  Clamp some foam core to a workbench and let kids saw it into strips. Foam core is easier to saw through than wood, and a keyhole saw is perfect for small hands.

6.         Introduce tools one or two at a time: Start a bunch of roofing nails in a stump and let your young DIYers go to town. The kids will keep hammering until every last nail in flush. With their big heads and short shanks (the roofing nails, not the kids) they’re easy to hit and hard to bend.

7.         Work at their height: You don’t like a work surface that’s too high, low or wobbly, and neither do kids. You can buy a child-size workbench from school supply catalogs. Or, you can cut down an existing workbench, or make one yourself.

8.         Play by the safety rules: There are a few rules that one should always play by. It is important to instill this in your children’s head this way they are always safe when doing project: (1) Always wear safety glasses (2) tie up long hair (3) wear closed-toe shoes (4) clean up after each work period (5) When using a saw, clamp the wood or secure it in a vise and have kids hold the saw with both hands or put one hand behind their back to prevent accidents.

9.         Don’t toss that trash: Taking apart a broken gadget like a fan or toaster is great for young minds and fingers. Kids get to unscrew things, learn how something is put together and have fun (cut off the cord for safety). If you don’t happen to have anything broken lying around, you can buy small appliances cheaply at yard sales or thrift stores.

I hope you enjoyed this little instructional step-by-step guide to getting your kids started on the road to DIY projects with you! What a great way to bond as a family, right?!

Please feel free to visit The Family Handyman to find more DIY projects, and advice from pros who teach DIY to kids.


  1. Love this list. :) We got my toddler a play tools set for Christmas, and to our surprise, it's been one of her favorite things to play with. I frequently find her "fixing things" around the house. When she's a little older we'll upgrade to real tools and hope she still enjoys it!

  2. @Keara - Yeah! My daughter's fav gift from "Santa" this year was her tool set too. A really cool drill set also, you gotta check out if your peanut loves tools is the Educational Insights Design and Drill Take-Along Tool Kit - both my peanuts can't get enough of it!


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