Have I mentioned how much I love going to the hardware store? I know, kind of different... but it's by far my favourite store to go shopping at. I know, again, different. I remember going shopping with my parents at the mall and when they'd split up to go in separate directions I'd love to go with my dad to the hardware store. Just being there brings back a nice "homey" kind of feeling. I could spend hours there just looking around at all the fabulous tools and home decor items. Really, I'm not kidding...
Did you know that Home Depot hosts free monthly DIY workshops for kids? [actually, they hold them for adults also in case you're interested]. When I heard this I jumped on the chance to enrol J in their last workshop. Sign up is encouraged, though not required and it's geared to the 4 to 12 age group. They provide all the tools and toolkits (obviously) and you provide the help (if) your child needs to accomplish the task. This month they made picture frames.
The toolkit came with the wood, nails, screws and stickers and it was similar to assembling an IKEA piece. So it's not like they're cutting the wood or anything overly complex, but for a 4 year old this was just perfect.
I admire people who are handy and can make things themselves, like building a deck or knitting a poncho. So, it's important for me that my kids learn that they don't always have to get things from a store all pre-made. I'd like them to at least have an understanding that they could make anything they want. Or at least, most everything. All you need to do is learn how to do it. And with these basic skills you can learn to make EVERYTHING. Developing their thinking skills is important, but so are their craft skills.
Luckily, my kid is already way ahead of me in this department [and light-years ahead of the hubby - phew!]. I accidentally made him nail the wrong side of the frame... not a huge issue for the construction, but aesthetically the the nails show when you hang it up. The clerk saw this and took pity on us. He gave us a new toolkit package to take home so we could try again.
As I was explaining *my* mistake to J, he came up with a great solution to the problem. We were already at the point of decorating the frame so he decided to add stickers over the nails and hide them all. Crisis averted. Everyone left happy.
As a final note, J told me that this picture frame would only be for decoration and not for a picture [the next one we make will be for us to hang an actual picture - who am I to argue!]. So, here is his new art, on the wall in his room next to the other cherished artwork he created.