Build and Grow



Okay, if I am honest, I had plenty of opportunity for things like this in my grandparents back yard in the shop where I learned to GET AWAY from the table saws as we watched Papaw build hope chests, shelves, and hand craft the cedar trimming that still hangs in my mother’s home to this day. (Which led to a few eventful creations of our own with some left over nails and scrap wood. Let’s just say, I’m sure they ended up as kindling over the years. Ha!)  Or sometimes it was on the front porch where I vowed to never eat another pea or bean again. I guess I never realized how much I was learning or developing during these activities. When you are 9 and you shell enough purple hull peas that your fingers ache and your nails are purple and green for days, you do not feel like you are learning anything. None of these activities, however, included a cute little workshop apron, completion patch for each project, or a free pair of child size safety goggles. Where’s the fun in that?!

Now that I am older, I watch as new activities pop up to teach children the things that I grew up thinking were natural every day fun, like building random things. I have come to realize and appreciate the opportunities I had as a child and understand just how different people’s lives can be even when they live in the same town. I understand that many children are not afforded the hands on involvement we were both given.

With that being said, we unfortunately do not have a workshop, yet. We have already built things together with our daughter in our back yard, though. Everything from a birdhouse out of scrap wood to a wooden bird feeder that came in a kit. We let her freely paint the bird feeder, so if you ever happen to see it hanging from the Dogwood tree in our backyard, over look its curious appearance (two year olds have interesting artistic talents. ) It was made with pure innocence and love, which makes it prettier than anything I could have ever bough in a store. Gosh, that sounds so cliche. Regardless, it hangs in the back yard in all of its glory.


In December, I somehow found myself signed up for an email that sends an update daily on new freebies you can snag from many different retailers. I’ve scored over 100 free photo prints from Walgreens, free Aquafina flavored waters, free Multi-vitamin samples, etc. On one of the emails in December, it had an update that you could make a Christmas Train with your child at your local Lowe’s Home Improvement Store for free. (After some research, I found out that Home Depot also does something very similar. In case you’re a die hard loyal customer?) Anyway, it was a wooden train with holiday themed stickers that were rub and smell. How cute was that? It even came with an apron as well as a an iron on patch and certificate once we were through. Daddy ended up working that day, so here we were. The two year old toddler donning her apron, safety goggles, and the smallest hammer ever, and her mom. Not that I felt inferior, but I did feel stared at until my two year old finished with her project first. Ha!

SHE LOVED IT! Okay, WE loved it. To her, she had just built something as magnificent as the Eiffel Tower. I was so proud of her and excited for her. She STILL talks about it. Yes, in February.

photoThis is the amazing Christmas train. It was actually really cute!

In February, I had to miss the event, but she went with her daddy. They made a Love Note Holder. I was a little curious at what that would look like. I mean, the activities are for children ranging 2-10. A love note holder? It turned out pretty cute too! The ends are heart shaped and they’re chalkboard material. She thinks it is cute. She has used over half of the stick of chalk board that came with it.

note holder

Do you already take your children to events like this? What are the ones at Home Depot like? We really enjoy them and look forward to participating in many more!