Posted by: nedpelger | August 5, 2008

Be a Hero: Build Fun Stuff with Kids

Those of us in construction generally share the interest (and talent) for building stuff. I found a great website to help point kids in that direction as well. Whether you have children, nieces and nephews, grandchildren, neighbor kids or whatever, consider helping them with a fun project that shows them how to make things. August is the perfect time of year to get them doing something fun and instructive.

For example, an old bike tube, bike pump, coat hanger and soda bottle can make a Soda Bottle Rocket that really works. Print out the instructions in the pdf format and give it a try with a kid.

I believe the losers in our busy culture tend to be the kids. They have less free time to just play and less time with interested adults who will do fun things.  I challenge you to check out this HowToons.com website and share it with some kids you know. Have them look through it and come up with the project they’d love to build. Help them gather the materials and give them some encouragement…and maybe a bit of technical aid here and there.

Our society needs more kids interested in construction, engineering and science, in how the real world works. This type of play motivates the mind to look in those directions. It helps kids become curious. So help the kids around you to have some cool experiences building things. They’ll create memories they will never forget and gain some understanding and respect for what you do.

I’m going to buy the Howtoons book and try some of the projects with my nephews. I’ll let you know how it goes. Give me some feedback on any projects you’ve done or are doing with kids.

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Responses

  1. Couldn’t agree more with this. I do however tend to get caught up in life’s hectic pace and not do as many things like this with my kids.

    From a very young age, my oldest daughter would love to spend time in my make shift wood shop on weekends. She would want to help glue boards to sand projects with an electric pad sander. She always has had a creative spirit.

    A few years ago after we moved to our new home, she told me that she would like a window seat in front of her double window in her bedroom. I challenged her to sketch out her idea and then we would build it. It had taken some time, but finally she started her sketch. It was alot of fun teaching her to measure the area for the window seat and then trying to teach her how to draw a scale drawing of her idea. I have to wonder, was I nuts for trying to teach an 11 year old this?

    From this sketch we purchased the wood and we have begun the construction of her window seat. Again because of life’s hectic moments, we have yet to finish. Of course if you ask my wife, it isn’t because I don’t have time, but I am “The King of All Unfinished Projects”. Of course I disagree.

    Another great thing to do with kids is to build a small bird house or bird feeder. Especially if you paint it!


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