UPDATE: According to their website, the Lowe's Build and Grown Program has been cancelled citing that the last workshop was in December of 2016. This is sad news. It was fun while it lasted.
It can sometimes be hard to find a shared activity with your kids. Sports is always the easy answer. You can teach your kids to catch. My son is still in the phase of holding his arms out but catching the ball with his face. He got those skills from me. Or you can show your kids how to dust and hope that they love it so much you don’t ever have to do it again. Tall places may be hard for them, but put them on your shoulders and they’ll think it’s a game!
Fortunately I discovered the Lowe’s Build and Grow Program. It’s a free program put on by your local Lowe’s Home Improvement Center. Yea, FREE. The program gives boys and girls the chance to build a wood project with parents. All you need to do is register and show up at your local Lowe’s on the appropriate Saturday morning. They even provide the hammer for you. Your project could be something simple like a planter or more complex like a Jimmie Johnson pullback race car. The projects have simple instructions and can be completed in 15-20 minutes.
What really got my son hooked was the Marvel Avenger’s series Lowe’s did this summer. It started with a wooden Captain America action figure. My son loves Cap, so it was easy to convince him to build one with me. These projects were more complicated than the others, but with some set up from me, my preschooler was able to hammer, place stickers and do the final assembly. The entire time he was engaged and curious about how it would look at the end.
Since my son has done these clinics, his skills have greatly improved. Recently I put together a small, table top foosball set. My son helped me. After it was done I noticed how great of a helper he was. He understood the instructions, though he could not read. And when I asked him to hand me a screw, he knew what they were. I didn’t have to tell him anything, he understood the process.
Now every Saturday he asks me if it is time to go build another superhero. Lucky for me Lowe’s sells some kits to do at home. We have even bought him a Build and Grow apron and hammer. I’ve been excited by his enthusiasm to work with his hands. If I can keep this going, he can develop a great set of skills that will serve him well in life.
You can see when the next Build and Grow session will be at you local Lowe’s here. And if you want to get started today, you can go to your local Lowe’s or buy some kits online. I really do recommend these clinics. And did I mention it was free?