Over the weekend, I decided that my picnic table desperately needed a paint job . I invited Katherine ( my 7-year-old granddaughter) to help me give the table its “face lift”. We needed to take extra precautions and allow more time (all day) for the estimated completion but the value of this project , as a learning experience, soon became clear.
It would have been VERY much faster, and more tidy, to do it alone. I suspect that parents have a lot on their plate these days and easy/tidy options are a big temptation but, please consider, this list of the things that Katherine learned that day… Things that only doing can teach.
- Supplying a project can be costly and must be planned.
- Setting up is time-consuming but makes the job easier and better.
- Our hardware store happens to have a candy counter!
- Primer is a spray-on paint that makes the final paint last.
- Dipping your brush in too far makes lots of drips.
- Spreading the paint, too thinly, makes it start to dry and get sticky.
- Waiting between coats, makes for a better cover.
- Painting against the wood grain does not work, as well as, following it.
- Painting is very tiring for your arms.
- Always watch the edges for drips.
- Work from the center outward or you’ll be leaning in wet paint.
People rarely are born with skills. They learn them.
Parents please resist that “tidy reflex”, as often as, possible. Include your kids in everyday tasks and you’ll take part in building mighty skilled people.
BTW-We both were scraping yellow from our ears, hair and arms for days after.