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Family-Friendly DIY: 8 Ways to Get Your Kids Involved

Do you have little helpers who are ready to jump in any time you start a DIY project at your home? You yourself may have memories of watching a parent or grandparent working at a table saw before you were tall enough to see over it. If so, you have building in your DNA and want to pass it to your own kids. Even if you’re not a parent — if you have nieces or nephews or younger brothers or sisters — you can share the fun, pride, and sense of a job well done even with very young kids.

Whether you are painting a room, building a doghouse, or a deck, here are some creative ways to enlist the help of the McCoy’s kids in your life, and pass on the DIY legacy.

Safety Tip to Remember With Kids


This should be a fun experience, not a stressful one, so keep in mind your kids’ age(s). Make their “jobs” age appropriate with safety in mind. For younger children, be aware of small hardware that they could swallow, and watch out for plastic bags that could be a suffocation hazard. Even the obvious advice is still a good reminder: electrical and sharp tools, such as table saws, chainsaws, or nail guns are off-limits for all kids. If you have to use any power tools, have kids keep a safe distance while they watch you operate these tools. Always play it safe!

This is also a good time to teach safety tips to kids. Have them wear eye protection and work gloves any time they are building in the “workshop”/garage, or painting or repairing things with you around the house.

8 Ways McCoy’s Kids Can Help with DIY Projects


    1. Designer: Kids can help you plan and even draw a design for just about any DIY project. Whether it’s a project you plan or they plan, this can be a creative way to get their DIY ideas. So, grab some crayons and paper and start planning with your little helpers. This is particularly helpful when you are building something for them like remodeling their room. Let them have input on where a low-height counter should be for little bakers or incorporating a space for little shoes or a stuffed animal cubby!
A measurement manager hard at work!
  1. Professional Shopper: Bring your official shoppers with you to shop at your local McCoy’s store. You can explain what supplies you are buying and teach them about what you are doing. From picking a paint color to placing supplies in the shopping cart, they can be involved before you even start working.
  2. Imaginary Worker: Once you have started working, remember, even “imaginary” work can be immensely fun for little helpers. Younger kids will love pretending they are painting with a dry roller on a wall while you paint or hammering with a stick or plastic toy hammer while you use an actual hammer. McCoy’s has some fun toy tools for your kids to use, too.
  3. Assistant Builder: For older kids, they can help with safe tasks such as stirring the paint, or even rolling some on the wall. They can screw in screws with a manual screwdriver, hold fasteners, and help sand wood or a wall before you paint.
  4. Official Helper: Kids love to help, even if they can’t operate all the tools, so don’t underestimate their joy in helping out. Whether it’s being an official helper or a “tool/material runner” by getting things you need while you’re working, kids love to play even a small part.
  5. Official Builder: You can let kids be builders without your help, while you are working, by giving them similar safe supplies or even project leftovers, and let their imagination run wild as they build something they design themselves. They could build a racetrack for cars out of wood scraps or a robot out of a supply box. It will surely surprise you what they come up with!
  6. Measurement Manager: Kids can help measure for you using a tape measure or hold one end, or a level. An extra set of hands is extremely useful and centering the little bubble is a great “kid job.” Double-check their numbers if they measure for you, of course. Kids can measure scraps on their own too.
  7. Clean-up Helper: We all love help with cleanup, and kids are great at gathering trash, sweeping with a toy broom, stacking scraps, spraying off brushes with a hose, or just about anything else you need. Enlist their help with clean-up, and it’s a win-win!  They have fun, and you have help with cleaning up.

DIY projects are wonderful activities for kids to learn and grow. Getting kids involved in DIY projects can build memories and foster a love of building and home improvement. So, let them make a mess and get busy building. Remember their pride in their own work is more important than perfection, so be patient and let them work alongside you. There’s a kid in all of us, so enjoy working and playing with your kids. Who knows? They may even improve on your original plan.

Want some DIY projects specifically designed for kids? Check out our McCoy’s kid projects. We love seeing your projects, so send us photos or tag your projects with #mccoysbuilds. If you need any help planning or picking supplies, come see us at McCoy’s. We are happy to help all our McCoy’s kids - big and small.