As you know, we’ve recently re-decorated our house from top to bottom. In fact, I wrote about it in my “Look at my House” series. However it honestly wouldn’t have been possible without a whole load of help! When we first moved in, my brother offered a lot of help (as did my mum, though mostly financially – bless her). Over the years we lived here, my best friend Nat also helped out on the odd days here and there. However, while the bulk of the work has always fallen on Chris and I, the girls have always been keen to help too.
In collaboration with Dyno, I was asked to share my trials, tribulations and even triumphs when it came to kids helping out with DIY. I have to be honest and say that sometimes having their help is more hassle than it’s worth, but that’s not to say they don’t both try! For the most part, we decorated while they were at school, but they would often come back after school and want to help then. Here is some tips I would like to offer:
- An old set of clothes for them is absolutely essential. Its completely unrealistic to expect that they will manage to paint without getting paint all over them – both skin and clothes. Usually I picked something they didn’t particularly like anyway, or something they were pretty much outgrowing. Tying hair out of the way is also a good idea.
- Make sure you cover the floor, skirting boards etc. even more than you would normally. I always throw covers over furniture when we’re painting the ceiling, but sometimes I’m less concerned when I know its in a place I can just be careful. However with the kids helping out, there are bound to be drips, spillages and goodness knows what, so cover up those floors even more, put masking tape on the skirting boards and keep a close eye on them!
- I have to admit that my girls are fairly well behaved anyway but I would recommend not leaving them alone for too long. When you have to nip off and get that extra brush or a new tin of paint, the chances are it won’t be long before they find it funny to start painting each other!
- Small brushes. I’m sure this one goes without saying really but the smaller the brush, the smaller the possible accident, mess, mistake etc. Sure you might have to go over the parts they’ve done but you stop the risk of having a big paintbrush mark when it gets dropped or swiped over a part of wall you didn’t want painting.
- Expect that they will get bored. Kids have a fairly short attention span to most things and if they’re not especially enjoying themselves, they will get bored and ditch you. Maybe adding some music to the equation or making it fun, will make them stick around but be prepared to finish off by yourself!
The kids helped us out in pretty much every room of the house, in some way or another. They can be a great asset but also a huge hassle. The nice thing is, they’re nearly always willing and love the thought of helping out. In reality, the job probably isn’t as fun as they expected or they’d rather be sat playing on an iPad or something. However every now and again they might surprise you and you’ll really appreciate their help – or maybe just their company. Not to mention, the other they get, the more likely they are to be of use to you!