|The end of a satisfying project
Each child gets a free apron, free safety goggles, the project, and an iron-on patch for their apron (I have used a variety of methods to attach the patches to the apron over the years, and I still find that, while the iron-on patches are great, nothing beats the speed of a hot glue gun). For each additional week, kids get the project and the patch.
|Little E hammering away
of space for the patches on the first one) and counted up the
projects that we have done together - 45. She and I have done
45 projects together. We regularly look at the apron and remember projects that she made as gifts: the pet leash holder for great-grandma, the planter trellis for mom for Mother's Day, the race for her little brother. And then as the number of kids have increased, we have added to the fun by taking brother and sister to the clinics.
So why the Build and Grow clinics? What is the point? Here are the things that I have learned and experienced through taking the kids to Lowe's:
|Big A working her assembly skills
product, but in my kids finding satisfaction in completing a project. Be a help, but let your kids do the work.
2). This is a great opportunity for kids to learn to swing a hammer. Lowe's supplies little hammers for use during these clinics. As my kids have grown through the years, they have learned how to properly hold and swing a hammer. Having the pre-drilled holes helps alleviate any
frustration from bent nails.
|Big E showing her independence
3). The projects make great gifts for parents and grandparents. Usually, around Mother's Day and Father's Day, Lowe's offers projects that would be appropriate gifts - picture frames, planters, keep sake boxes, etc. My kids have loved giving some of their projects to loved ones, and they can proudly tell them that they made it.
4). I love free interactive entertainment for kids. I love it even more when it is something that helps mold my kids into Renaissance Moms and Dads. The younger kids are getting great practice follow my verbal direction. My older daughter is gaining spacial reasoning skills that will help her assemble Ikea furniture all by herself someday. (I wish someone had taken my wife to Build and Grow clinics as a kid.)
|Smiles and satisfaction for completed projects
|Four years of projects, 45 patches, and endless quality time
I can't tell you the number of times my hands have been hit with tiny hammers as I held pieces together for my kids to nail. Nor can I tell you the number of burns I have sustained hot gluing patches onto their aprons. And then there are the countless times I have tripped over small wooden toys laying around the house. And yet I smile as I'm writing this because I have even sweeter memories of time spent with my kids. The joy of my 2-year-old asking me, "Daddy, wanna go to Lowe's with ME?" The giggles as they hammer and put stickers on their projects. The smile on my wife's face when she receives the gift of two hours of solitude. These are the building blocks, figurative and literal, of what I love about Lowe's Build and Grow. This is why Lowe's is the place for a Renaissance Dad (Lowe's, if you're reading this and want to sponsor my blog, please let me know).