Friday, April 5, 2013

Little Helpers

During a recent home improvement project I was impressed by my children’s interest in helping. They were highly motivated and very helpful, which is not always the case when it comes to helping out around the house. Their interest did not fade after the first 30 minutes; they stuck to it for days and are still involved. 

This got me thinking about the importance of children working with their hands and being involved in projects. In this digital era, being involved in producing something three- dimensional by hand is becoming a rare experience. Obviously, as a builder, I am a little biased on the value of working with your hands. There are many benefits to getting your hands dirty. First and most important, it can be fun. Children and adults can benefit by learning a new skill and completing a project. The experience of working on a specific task can help them become better problem solvers. They may be able to use some of the skills they learn to apply to other projects. Instant gratification is often associated with digital entertainment. It is also prevalent in many building projects. Children get immediate results and can see the progress of their hard work. There are many more benefits of building and working on projects, and almost all of them boost self- confidence, yet another reason for children to get their hands dirty.

So the next time you have to work in the garden, put down a new kitchen floor, or some other project around the house, don’t hesitate to invite your children to help. They may just find an exciting alternative to the tablet, computer, or TV. They will have a great time completing a project with their grown-up, and gain skills, self-confidence and a sense of pride and accomplishment in a job well done.

Always make sure that the project is safe and appropriate for the age of the child.

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