It’s important to get the family together as often as possible for quality time, but instead of relying on the same game nights, expensive vacations or weekend movie matinees where you stare silently at the screen for a couple of hours, involve kids of all ages together to work on an outdoor DIY project. The following are just a few of the many things you can work on together.
Build a treehouse
Every kid loves the idea of a treehouse, fort or clubhouse in the backyard. Fortunately, there are step-by-step treehouse plans that are easy to follow and allow everyone in the home to take part. The My Kids’ Adventures website offers a comprehensive guide for building a fort that includes written instructions, handy diagrams and video tutorials. The instructions leave room for you to customize the fort for the size of your yard, building space and skill levels, and although it is a fairly ambitious project that will probably take a couple of weekends to complete, it’s one that even younger kids can help with.
Sketch the fort on paper and ask everyone for ideas on what amenities they would like the structure to have. Then, go shopping together for the supplies. When it comes time to build, teach elementary school kiddos to measure wood planks and hammer nails while you teach your teens to handle a saw and drill. When the treehouse is complete, celebrate by ordering pizza and having dinner inside the cool new outdoor fort.
Consider an in-ground pool
If your kids do the whole “I wish we had a pool” thing when the temp jumps a few degrees, make their dreams come true by agreeing to add a pool — as long as they help build it. Luckily, you can get a DIY in-ground pool installation kit that comes with blueprints and instructions to guide you through the process from beginning to end.
Like the treehouse, this is another project where there will be a task for everyone in the family. When the kit arrives, younger kids can help count the various pieces and parts to make sure everything was included, while teens can go with you to rent excavating equipment to dig out the hole in your yard. When the pool is completed and the weather is warm enough for a pool party, gather family and friends in the cool water to celebrate your hard work and team effort.
Build a raised vegetable garden
Most kids love to get out and dig in the dirt; teens may put up a fight about getting dirty, but can probably be won-over by the idea of growing their own veggies. Satisfy both of these interests by asking them to join you in building a raised DIY vegetable garden. This Old House features helpful instructions on how to build a raised garden that even the little kids can help put together. Explain the potential risks from produce treated with pesticides and why homegrown is the healthier option. Working as a family to make the raised garden area lifts spirits and will continue throughout the year as you encourage your children to choose their own produce to water, feed and harvest.