Skip to main content

DIY for children – what it teaches them

Boy drawing plans on blackboard
Have you ever considered keeping your kids busy round the house with a spot of DIY? Find out what it could teach your child, plus some handy activities to try.

If you find offering your children an everlasting supply of fun home activities to do over weekends and school holidays a bit of a struggle, then perhaps it's time you looked to your home to provide a little inspiration.

Encouraging the kids to try some simple DIY and craft activities around the house can teach a huge variety of invaluable, practical skills and is an excellent way to approach all manner of curriculum areas!

DIY skills for kids: the benefits

DIY encourages children to use many everyday skills to problem solve and think about tasks carefully and analytically, exploring potential outcomes. It exercises the mind, encouraging lateral and logical thinking, choosing from a range of solutions.

It also taps into children's creativity enabling them to use their imaginations and put their artistic skills into practice.

In terms of movement and dexterity, DIY also helps develop children’s fine motor skills, as they will often be using smaller, more sensitive movements which require concentration and patience in order to achieve the desired outcome.

What household and DIY skills can children do at what age?

By the age of 12 your child could:

  • sew on a button
  • change a plug
  • change the sheets on their bed
  • mow a lawn
  • change a fuse
  • use a washing machine
  • use a screwdriver
  • use a potato peeler
  • unblock a sink
  • defrost a fridge
  • change a light bulb
  • sort the recycling

Any of these activities will help your child’s DIY abilities whilst equipping them with some invaluable practical skills they will use for the rest of their lives.

Always supervise your children when they are handling electric equipment, and ensure that they are fully aware of safety rules.

Kids' DIY activity ideas

If you are stuck for DIY tasks for your child, try some of these:

  • Ask your child if they would like to redesign an area of their bedroom. They can discuss what they would like in their room and suggest ways to change things. They can draw up plans and help in each process of the design and construction
  • For younger children, there are plenty of construction toys and kits available. These will help them to build up the skills needed in real-life DIY
  • Provide plenty of opportunities for your child to help with maintenance jobs around the house. For example, if the garden needs mowing and weeding ask them to help, or if a light bulb needs changing, let them have a go
  • If there are any areas of the house which could do with a lick of paint, allowing your child to help is a great experience for them, and will help their creativity
  • Encourage your child to help with some environmental DIY to help them think about the world around them; ask them to build a compost heap or a bird feeder.
  • Involve your child in any craft projects you may be working on. Whether it's renovating some old shelves or knitting some coasters, let your child have a go!

Don't feel very confident about some home maintenance skills yourself? We recommend the excellent Dad, how do I? YouTube channel, where an American dad who has raised two adults provides useful, practical guides to basic tasks that everyone should know how to do. (The channel has 8 million subscribers!)

Give your child a headstart

Give your child a headstart

  • FREE articles & expert information
  • FREE resources & activities
  • FREE homework help
By proceeding you agree to our terms and conditions. For information on how we use your data, see our privacy policy. You will receive emails from us but can opt out at any time.