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You are building something new this year on the homestead but you want to include your kids. How do you Build on the homestead with kids, that is what we are going to be talking about in this episode. I am going to be giving you a few tips on how to include them, safety, and more. Let's get growing!

Building is going to happen on the homestead. I think I am “thinking about building” every day. But how do I include my kids in this part of homesteading? Building is full of plans, tools, strategy, and can in fact be somewhat dangerous when it comes to cutting things with saws. So how do you and I include our kids so that we can teach them to use their hands, think outside the box, and even do dangerous things carefully?

That is exactly what you and I are going to talk about in this blog post and podcast episode above.

How to Build with Our Children on the Homestead!

Project Will Take Longer

Before we jump into the thick of it I do have a small disclaimer or somethings you need to consider that are going to be part of this adventure with our children.

Your projects are going to take longer!

When it comes to taking the time to teach our kids something new or even when we are learning something new we have to be able to see the big picture beyond the project. You are not just building a chicken nesting box, you are giving your child a lifelong skill and that is going to take time.

I know when I get started on a project on the homestead, I want to get it done and move on to the next thing on the to-do list. But you can do that with kids. You have to be patient, be understanding, and be ready to not get done on your time table.

Because the last thing your child needs from you as the teacher is frustration.

Frustration will quail their fire to learn, it will give them misgivings about their ability to do hard things, and even worse can bring stress to an already dangerous situation.

Now with that said let move on to my first tip!

Teach Them

The first aspect of including our kids is going to be teaching them. Doing things with our hands does not come naturally. You are going to have to teach your kids the skill they are going to need and like I said above this is going to take time. So what are some ways that we can teach our kids?

Include Them In What You Are Doing

  • When you are doing something in the building process, include them.

  • Have them hold the board while you saw

  • Read the plans with them

Explain Things in Detail

  • Teach them the terminology with building. Like what is the definition of a different building term or simply what a 2 by 4 look like.

  • Teach them the names of the different tools.

  • Teach them about each tool. Which have sharp parts. Which tools are used for what and so on.

Use Books

  • This takes the teaching out of your hands and into someone who understands building a little more than you do.

  • Books are going to have pictures and details you may not think about sharing with your kids

  • Your local library will have many books on construction to choose from

  • I have a podcast episode all about my favorite building book for the homestead.

Show By Example

  • Especially when it comes to safety if you want your kids to wear safety google you need to wear them too!

  • If you want them to use a guide stick with the table saw you need to use a guide stick with the table saw.

  • You want them to use a screw gun with two hand you use two hands

  • This can go on and on but I think you see the idea. Your kids are watching everything you do. So be aware!

Practice Make Improvement

  • Set up some scraps of materials so that your child can practice what you taught them before they work on the main project.

  • Use tools is going to take practice so give them time to work it out for themselves

  • Show them how to do it then when you feel they have it walk away and let them do it on their own. This will build trust.

  • This will help the get comfortable with the tool in their hands

  • This will give them time to teach themselves how to multitask the steps needed to use a tool.

Be Ready to Fail

You and I are not perfect and neither are our kids. There are going to be mess ups and they are not going to matter when you look at the project as a whole. Just maybe, and this is from experience, having one chicken nest smaller than the rest is not going to stop the chickens from using it.

Mistakes and Failures are going to happen. But on the bright side, these mistakes are going to give you a great opportunity to teach your child that mistakes are okay in life and Mistakes are when we truly learn.

I see this in my sons as well in society, they see failure as a chance to give up because if I can’t do it perfectly then why try.

But failure or mistakes are when we learn that “can do spirit”, when we learn that God is greater than you and me, and we learn that perfection is not our goal in life. Living and trying again when things get hard are our goals!

In a nutshell you as the teacher need to be willing to take time to teach, be willing to learn alongside your child, and to accept small mistakes because they are going to happen.

Give Your Child an Age Appropriate Job

Building is about doing so you need to get your kids participating at their skill level. Is every child going to be able to pound nails or read plans?


But there are jobs that anyone can do, from handing screws to their older siblings, or picking up wood pieces and throwing them in the wood bin.

Break down each task into small chunks and give everyone a job.

Be Dangerous Carefully

Building and a lot of different aspects of the homestead can be dangerous. Living is dangerous. There are many things that we do everyday that are truly dangerous, like driving a car down the highway. But the way that we can do that safely is by using guidelines that everyone needs to follow so that you can drive safely.

The same goes for building or doing anything dangerous with our kids. Now I am going to get a little deeper into that topic in a moment but let’s first talk about why it is important to let our children do dangerous things.

First, our kids are going to do dangerous things in their lifetime and right now while they are young is a great time to teach our children how to approach these dangerous things carefully but also not alone.

Second, when our kids do hard or dangerous things they build confidence in their abilities.

Third, as they grow up they are going to test the waters of life, by doing what they think is dangerous. Just think back to when you were a teenager. What were some things you did to prove to yourself that you could be independent?

I know I did a few crazy things but thankfully I had a foundation that taught me how to approach the dangerous things carefully, with guidelines. And right now, you can teach your children those same steps.

Like, how to plan ahead or talk out the plan before you do it. Or tell others what you are doing or bring a buddy with you so someone can be there to help you if needed.

My point is that building can be a great way for you as the parent to teach your child that when you need to do dangerous or difficult things you need to not give up but to move forward from a mindset of taking your time and doing it carefully!

Let Them Free to Build

The last tip I have for you is to let them build. You need to teach them the groundwork first but after that if they want to take the leftover lumber and build a cat bed, let them.

And of course, give them guidelines. Like you can use the hammer and nails but if you want anything cut, measure it and I will come cut it for you.

You know your child and their abilities.

Building on their own lets you kids have an imagination, and to think outside the box. To have ideas of their own and to move away from the rigidness of life.

Letting our kids build is also a way to teach them to be a lifelong learner. But one they are learning how to learn something new. That sounds like a tongue twister but it is true. So many times in school and life our children are just told how to do something but are not taught how to learn how to do something on their own.

How did you learn how to do things you know how to do? Did you read a book or watch a few videos? Did you just start?

How did you know how to learn something new?

Right, that is what you and I need to continue to teach our kids, how to find the knowledge so that they can keep learning throughout their life. Building is a great way to do this but so is letting our kids accomplish projects on their own.

Yes, You and your child can learn new things and the easiest way to do that is to be free. Is to take off the restrictions of plans but to just build for the fun of building.

I want to thank you for joining me today! I would love to see what you and your kids are building.

Comment below with pictures of your builds.

Don’t let the world hold you back,

Pray, Just Plant

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