Summer Dad-Daughter DIY Tips-Part 2

Yesterday, I gave you the first round of some Family Handyman tips for Father-Daughter Do It Yourself fun this summer.

Safe use of tools is a valuable life skill for any child, but too often, girls aren't exposed to the joys or building (and sometimes wrecking) DIY projects.

Here are the last 5 tips for you to hammer out great summer fun with your daughter or stepdaughter:

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

6. 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. You can buy foam core at craft, art and office supply stores.

7. 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.
Note: If you don’t happen to have anything broken lying around, you can buy small appliances cheaply at yard sales or thrift stores. Look for older versions. The newer appliances are mostly snap-together plastic. Skip electronic devices, which might have potentially dangerous parts.

9. Don’t do it for them.
The biggest challenges for experienced DIYers are time and patience. It’s very easy for an adult to take over and just do things for their child, but you have to let kids learn by doing, not watching.

Also, remember to play by the (safety) rules:

  • Always wear safety glasses.
  • Tie up long hair.
  • Wear closed-toe shoes.
  • Clean up after each work period.
  • 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.

Share your favorite Dad-Daughter DIY stories in the comments below!


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