Kids are natural-born helpers. If there’s a job to do around the house, chances are good they’re willing to pitch in and help. We’ve got an age-by-age guide to kids’ chores, but they also love to assist on the occasional DIY home improvement project. Here are a few kid-friendly home maintenance projects you can hand over to your kids with minimal supervision needed.
Appoint them the household “Safety Chief”
Kids can help out with a few key safety checks that are important but also straightforward. Kids who are old enough to read can check the tags on your fire extinguisher to make sure it’s charged and up to date. They can also help to test and replace batteries in smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. In addition, if you have emergency preparedness kits with food and water, kids can help check the expiration dates and make sure that batteries are in stock and fully charged. They can also help count out candles and other supplies.
Let them fix squeaks and creaks
Give kids a chunk of beeswax and show them how to rub some into a squeaky hinge or floorboard. Then let them loose to hunt for creaks throughout the home. This is a simple but surprisingly fun task for kids, and using beeswax means it is completely safe and non-toxic for any age. They can also do this for shovels, trowels, and other kid-safe yard equipment to protect and lubricate tools (although for this those tools, closer supervision is a good idea).
Ask them to help hang art or decor
Kids like stuff that lights up and makes noise (so do grown-ups), so what better chore to task them with than finding studs in the wall to hang a picture? Bust out your stud-finder and put them to work locating those studs. Although little kids can’t do the hammering, older kids might be able to assist with this part, as well. You can also have kids clean and prep the wall and help place a temporary hook if you don’t want to put holes in the wall.
Have them lubricate locks and knobs
Pencil lead is usually made from graphite these days — and it turns out that graphite is an excellent lubricant for metal surfaces. So, give a kid a pencil, have them rub some on the keys to your locks, and then turn the locks a few times with the keys. This is a fun, kid-safe way to prevent sticky locks. You can also try this trick on metal latches and handles if they are sticky. Just rub a little bit of pencil lead into the latch, and turn the knob a few times.
Task them with finding burnt-out bulbs
Have kids go around outside and inside the house and check for lightbulbs that aren’t working. They can flip each switch and activate every motion sensor. If they’re old enough, they can help you replace bulbs, but younger kids should stay well away from open lightbulb sockets. Have them make a list of the lights that you replace and the dates for future reference.