Nine Great Ways to Start Your Child Building February 27 2016

This month we're talking about the benefits of building. My favorite expert on this topic is Elaine Hamel, founder of Girls at Work, a nonprofit that teaches woodworking skills to at-risk girls.  

Elaine says, "building with girls is such an important and powerful experience: it teaches girls so much about themselves and the inherent power they have within."

We've rounded up nine different building-related activities or items to help a young girl in your life start building and discovering her inner power.

1. Child-sized tool belt with accessories - Let your child strap on her own tool belt and help the next time something needs fixing around the house. Better yet, don't wait for something to break! Arm her with a screwdriver and ask her to go around and find all the screws that need tightening. Great places to look are light switches, door knobs, etc.  

2. Grizzly children's tool kit - This tool kit includes all the basic tools you'll need to do small building projects at home: safety glasses, wrench, level, hammer, pliers, Phillips and slotted screwdrivers, ruler, tape measure, and square. Plus, you'll need to use some of the tools right away to put together your first project: the toolbox (shown) to carry them in!

3. Lowes Build and Grow clinics and Home Depot's kids workshops - Both DIY superstores offer free monthly building sessions for kids.  At both stores, all needed supplies are provided and kids bring home a finished project they've built themselves!

4. Toysmith Build a Birdfeeder kit - a great beginner building project that also connects children with nature. This kit contains all the pieces and hardware needed to build the birdfeeder including paint to decorate when completed.

5. Sunrise Girl treehouse shirt - This shirt was inspired by a real girl who built a treehouse in her backyard with her father. It was created to reflect the fact that girls make great builders! Wear it with pride.

6. The Kids' Building Workshop book - This book starts at the very beginning with clear photos and explanations on the correct way to hammer a nail and why. If you're already a pro, it also includes instructions for 15 fun projects including a stool, a "cricket cage" and a puppet theater!  Worth noting is that the photos in the book feature plenty of girls working on projects and moms helping out!

7. Homemade Geo Board tutorial - this easy-to-follow tutorial on how to make a Geo Board is from Sarah at Little Bins for Little Hands.  She explains how the boards are great for creating art, exploring shapes, and developing fine motor and visual skills for younger children.  

8. DIY String Art tutorial - here's an activity for older children who would love to create some personalized artwork. You don't even need to be a skilled drawer. In this tutorial from Crafts Unleashed, they show how any printed image can work as a starting point.

9. Guide to putting together your own woodworking set - Kate, from the wonderfully-named website Picklebums, created this guide to putting together your own woodworking set at home. Filled with beautiful photos and experienced advice it explains how to create a space where your child's creativity can flourish. 
*Other than product number 5 which is our own Sunrise Girl shirt, we have no affiliation with any of these other products, brands, companies, etc. and receive no compensation from listing them here. We put this list together as a (hopefully!) helpful resource.