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Teaching a New Generation

A mother teaches a child how to fix plumbing under kitchen sink as a project they can do at home together

As tempers and frustration are running high on the tail end of a 1+ month quarantine, we’re beginning to wonder if we should rewatch The Office for the 12th time. Monopoly doesn’t sound nearly as fun as it did two weeks ago either. We understand the stress, being parents ourselves, so we’ve put together a short list of projects to do at home. Not only will it keep your kids entertained, but it will provide a bonding experience over skills that are quickly disappearing from the workforce. Take a couple of hours this weekend to work on your kids’ dexterity, get some fresh air, and show them the value of knowing how to take care of your home.

1. Hammer and nails / Screw-gun and screws

This project you can do at home is a pretty simple exercise. This skill gives you the opportunity to connect with your kids while allowing them to work on their dexterity. Grab an old 2×4 from the garage, a hammer, and a couple of nails. If you prefer, a small screw-gun and screws will work too. Teach your kids how to put the nails into the wood (or screws), and how to remove them. These hand and eye skills are crucial to trade skills and can save them a LOT of frustration when they’re older. If you’re not quite sure how to do this yourself or need a quick brush-up, check out these Youtube hammer and hammer drill tutorials.

2. Painting

Teach this skill to older children (7+), as this project at home can make quite a mess with a toddler around. You can head on out to the backyard and give your fence a nice touchup without worrying about the mess all over the interior. Kids absolutely love paint. Painting re-enforces hand-eye coordination and exposes children to color palettes and design concepts through exposure. Learning hand control while cutting corners on trim is another fantastic skill for a future homeowner. Interested in professional painting tips? Check out this DIY video on Youtube.

3. Planting and Irrigation

As the weather begins to turn to late-spring and summer sun, what better time to enjoy the outdoors than planting with your family? This project you can do at home is perfect for those who love everything nature has to offer. Biophilia, or connection to nature, is proven to improve mental and overall health. Those extra bits of vitamin D also help with mood and performance. What more can you ask for?

If you’re new to gardening, try your hand at a planter from your local hardware store and begin with herbs or other hearty and forgiving vegetables. If you’re a veteran, introduce your kids to the process of managing water and sun, putting complimentary plants next to each other, and teaching them the importance of nitrogen fixators. This is an opportunity to teach your children where food comes from and how curb appeal can add value to your home. It will also ease the summertime grocery bill. You can’t beat that! If you’re looking for a how-to on gardening, we would suggest taking a look at a course like this. You can also reach out to your local county extension program to speak to a Master Gardener on how to get started.

4. Cleaning

Cleaning is a lost art and many attribute cleanliness to godliness. The reason for this is that a clean, well-ordered space is ideal for creativity and mental focus. Teaching your kids how to clean properly, the importance of chemical substitutes, and what you can and cannot mix will prepare them well for the future. In the home, we encourage you to include them in replacing those pesky air filters in your HVAC. Cleaning returns and registers, opening the house to air it out, and removing dog hair from under furniture is also important. You’ll feel an immediate improvement to your home and your own well-being. This project you can do at home never fails.

5. Weather-proofing

This may be the most important project you can do at home. Walking around your home and determining locations where water, air, or unwanted, many-legged creatures may enter is a good start. Checking window seals, caulk joints, and exposed raw material for exposure gives you the chance to perform preventative maintenance before problems arise, resulting in costly repair work. This is a great task for children. Their height difference will give them a different angle to notice things that aren’t right. The exterior of your home and caulk is fairly easily to clean up if there are any whoopsies. If you’re curious on what you should be looking for, take a few minutes to explore the This Old House channel on Youtube for a variety of how-to videos..

6. Fix a leaky faucet

This project at home is not the sexiest of tasks and may require the most patience. Understanding how basic everyday plumbing works is 101 in home maintenance. Cartridge replacements, faucet replacements, and PVC drainage will fascinate your kids and give them a chance to understand how their home works. Take it a bit further and buy some additional scrap PVC from your local hardware store and let them build their own contraptions. We definitely don’t suggest you allow them to use PVC glue without your supervision as the fumes are toxic. However, connecting materials together develops spatial skills in young children and adults and sets them up for the future.

If you take the time to teach your kids these fundamental skills, don’t forget to take a picture and tag #CoronaSkills2020 and @Vigeo_Construction_Consulting on Instagram so we can join you in the fun and promote your story. Be sure to check out more content from Vigeo here. /J

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