Enlist your little helpers for your next DIY project
Getting little children involved in DIY or household maintenance tasks creates an ideal learning experience that boosts vocabulary and helps your child feel competent and responsible. It may take you a little longer to get the job done, but the benefits for children when they learn from us, during everyday activities are long lasting.
Open up the tool box together and you’ll discover a bounty of things to name and explore. Pull out the hammer, paint brush, nails or masking tape and talk about how they are used and why. Where safe, let your child hold them, look at them and talk about what they are used for.
When you’re ready to start your project, you’ll find there’s rich vocabulary involved as it unfolds. It’s even helpful to explain to kids when things don’t quite go to plan. This family is dismantling a sandpit and the children are helping while learning about ‘knocking the planks’ with a ‘hammer’ and ‘scooping’ out the sand.
As children get towards preschool age, they can help you by fetching the tools, counting the number of nails you need or mixing the paint. Children love helping and its great practice to see if they can follow some simple instructions like ‘Can you please get Mummy the paint brush from the garage?’
Constructing new toys is another activity that helps children learn. Showing children the instructions, looking at the pictures and working on it together is a great early literacy activity.
Children benefit when they see important adults engaged in literacy-related activities and this can be as simple as reading and making sense of some instructions.
So next time you have to fix or put something together, call in your little helpers. The benefits of including them last much longer than the activity itself.