The kids and I did something different today: we participated in our local Home Depot’s FREE Kids Workshop. Home Depot stores offer them once a month at most locations across the county. For a couple years now I’ve heard about the workshops from friends and family members, but was always hesitant to try something like that with my 2 (now 3) small children and no husband to help me (since he has Army drill on those weekends.) Today I’m going to debunk some fears I had about the workshops, and share our experience with you in an effort to make it easier on YOU!
v For ages 5-12
- Actually, any age seems to be welcome.
v It will only be dads who know how to build and their equally crafty sons
- There were many dads, but lots of moms and families as well. Lots of boys AND girls.
v It takes 3 hours
- Nope! You work at your own pace and follow your own directions! Hallelujah! J In fact, I talked to one father and son who said they do it each month and are usually in and out in about 5-10 minutes! Wow! That’s some quick workmanship!
v My kids will get hungry and need to use the bathroom
- It’s okay if they do! It’s pretty relaxed and very friendly. Snacks seemed to be fine, but if you need to use the bathroom, you might need to bring the craft with you so no one confuses it with theirs. You are free to go in and out though.
v The baby will cry and I’ll need to feed her, so we’ll get behind on the project
- No problem. You work at your own pace, so if you need to take a break, your own kids will be the only ones waiting.
v It will be too hard for small children
- My son is 3 ½ and my daughter just turned 2. We also had my 4 month old baby with us. My kids definitely needed my help for most, if not all, the steps, but they were able to do everything as long as I helped. By the end, my son was even able to hammer some of the nails himself. My daughter’s interest started to wane the last five minutes, but as long as she was involved she did fine and really seemed to enjoy it.
v We didn’t pre-register
- That’s fine! They like it if you do, but some people were just in the store shopping and decided to stop by. Very cool.
v What if we’re late?
- People are able to come and go as they please anytime during the 3 hour period, so it’s no problem.
It was a rainy day in Minneapolis, so it was nice to get the kids out of the house to do something different. The baby has been going through a MAJOR growth spurt for 2 weeks, so we haven’t done many projects at home. I was thankful for this excuse—and you can’t beat free! I had pre-registered online, so were committed. J
When we arrived, I asked at Customer Service where to go. It was in the back of the store. We walked into a warehouse looking room—of course, it is Home Depot after all! Ha! They had plywood set up as tables propped on Home Depot buckets. They were low to the ground—perfect height for my kiddos, and no chairs. A desk type table, manned by 2 attendants, offered aprons (though they were out), prepackaged crafts, memorabilia pins, and certificates of completion. The craft packages were similar to the ones you would find at Michael’s for about $1, but slightly better quality and they included nails to nail the pieces into place so they would stay better. The tables were lined with hammers, screwdrivers, and wood glue and another table had paint and trays. We grabbed our craft packages and set up at a table. I had the baby in a stroller which worked out PERFECTLY. She loved watching all the kids and never fussed. My one big complaint was that they had music blasting from the corner of the room. I might ask them to turn it down next time. It was loud enough with all the hammers and my sensitive son really struggles with loud noises. Most people didn’t seem to care much though. The craft packages had simple instructions with large, colorful illustrations. We followed those and I just went back and forth between my two kids. They loved it! We opted not to paint ours and they were happy with that. We were in and out in just under 45 minutes. Not bad for two small children!
Overall, it was a fun, free experience. It was good for the kids to do something different and we will probably do it again the next time we have a free first Saturday of the month.